Saturday, April 7, 2012

Our 3rd Grade Country Project...Something A Little Different This Year

Every year Ann Volk, one of our third grade teachers, and I do a big country project together.  When Ann and I started planning the country project together this year, I was so excited when she wanted to do something a little different.  

In this project, the students have certain information that they must find through research.  In the past, they use index cards to record the information that they find.  This year, Ann and I created the Van Meter Third Grade Country Projects Wiki.  By keeping the wiki public the students are able to edit the page and add their research into the wiki.  
The two classes of third graders were able to choose if they wanted to work together or by themselves.  They also picked the country that they wanted to research.
After the students had their country, Ann added a page for each, along with the list of information that they were to locate.  

All of the third graders are doing a terrific job at adding their research to their country pages.  
Ann and I also made sure that the students and parents were able to find the information about the Country Project easily and when they needed it.  We created a page entitled Mrs. Volk's Country Project Information on her Google Site.
I added the Country Project information, to the 3rd Grade page on the Van Meter Elementary Library and Technology Voice Google Site (littlevanmetervoice.com).

Also, I included the links to places they could go for their research, including....
CultureGrams Kids Edition....
The CIA World Fact Book and
 The World Fact-Book app that I downloaded onto the iTouches and iPads.
They really liked using the World Fact-Book app...it gave them a lot of the information that they needed.
Ann and I have been co-teaching and collaborating in the classroom, computer lab and library over the last two weeks.  It has been so much fun seeing how much they are enjoying this project.  As they do their research, they are excited about what they are learning and anxious to show us.
I love how she is using her the screen space...she has her page on the wiki open and CultureGrams.  
These two students are researching in both Brittanica and CultureGrams.  They were comparing the information that they found about their country before they recorded it in the wiki.
As the students finish up their research within the wiki, they will start creating their Country Project.  They can use FlipSnack/SlideSnack, Animoto or VoiceThread, along with other Web 2.0 tools such as Wordle and Tagul.  The students will also find a recipe from their country to contribute to a collaborative online recipe book.

And the culminating activity will be creating a Little Bird Tale together.  The theme of the book will be Did You Know This About...(country)?  

The Little Bird Tale and their other projects will be so much fun to share with our school community and the world.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you. :) We have had so much fun with this project. And the great thing...we have been able to incorporate so many things into one. Research, online resources/databases, eBooks, Web 2.0 tools, collaboration, creating, and sharing it with others around the world.

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  2. My 3rd grade daughter is currently doing a project on Spain and I would love to chat and get some pointers. cjm9836@gmail.com

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