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Home : 2003 : Jan : 8

    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 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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