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Home : 2003 : Jan : 8

    research
    By tia

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    i have my language classes do a big research project in the spring. this is what i do. (they will all choose a famous artist to research and write on.) after they have chosen (only 2-4 may choose one particular artist--i have quite a list--and about a hundred non-fiction books on these artists--the number of students allowed depends on the amount of material i have for that artist--i also regulate who chooses what artist depending on how hard the reading material is, how much info is out there, and how "mature" the information on the artist is...ie: frida kahlo and salvador dali) their artist (they do this after a few days of lessons on artists' backgrounds and styles of art), i choose an artist noone has chosen.

    then i explain the research requirements--what will they end up with--what will i grade; what will it be worth and how do you create a bibliography; what information do you need to take down when taking information from resources.

    then i start researching my artist--in front of the students--i show them how to find an acceptable, reliable, helpful site on the internet--how to paraphrase--and how to take notes. then i do the same with a book and with an encyclopedia. then they take notes on their artists.

    after a few days, i show them how to organize their notes--information on the artist's education--info on the artist's style--one interesting bit of info on the artist--to get paragraphs separated and organzied. i do this by cutting up my notes and pasting them in different places. then i have the students do it.

    then i show them how to do outlines and organize what i want to say--and they do it.

    then i show them how to create the topic/body paragraphs--and they do it.

    then i show them how to create an introduction and conclusion--and they do it.

    and i continue with revising and editing. i fully believe we do not model good writing skills as we model other subjects--math computation skills, reading skills--we can't just tell them how to write--they need to see us do it.



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