Learning Adventure (3) – Find Good Resources

CHECKING IN:

0. Refer to the rubric for specific instructions when you work on each section of your adventure.

1. Did you create your learning adventure home? If so, share the URL here.

2. Did you complete your “INQUIRE” section of your adventure? Double-check the Essential Question Development Checkpoint list here to make sure you’ve written a high quality essential question.

3. Did you design a “task” that will ask students to “show what they know”?
1) The task should have a clear LEARNING FOCUS.
2) The task should be a challenging, open task that allows students to follow multiple paths to reach multiple solutions.
3) Good strategies to design a good task include

  • Connect across disciplines
  • Involve your students in real world issues (refer to CNN news / community issues )
  • Let them do service (served based learning)
  • Let them locate experts or find a pal
  • Let them rethink their familiar places / people / issues (place based learning)
  • Involve their favorite stories (novels / movies)
    For example, some of you might be interested in “how has American culture changed over the past?” When you transform this question to a task, you may use your favorite movie (e.g., Age of innocence; this is a tale of 19th century New York high society) and let your students analyze storyline to make sense of 19th century America and create another short movie which shows similarities/differences between 19th century and today’s America.

4) You may want to ask:

  • Who owns the problem / task presented?
  • How does this problem / task relate to the student?
  • Does the task or problem pass the “so what” test?
  • Do the students have input as to how the task is approached?
  • Are there multiple solutions for the task?
  • Does the problem seem authentic for the student?
  • From (http://ed.fnal.gov/lincon/act/el/ml_taskhook.shtml)

4. Today, your task is to find good resources to help your students to come up with an answer to your essential question. Work on the “Hook” and “Explore” sections.

PART ONE. Hook your students

Once you have an essential question and a project (task) in mind, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to invite your students to the project. If you fail in hooking your students, they will not want to click on your next section, right? In this section, you will want to provide some warm-up activities and anticipatory set of mini-lessons. Find good resources and complete the “Hook” section. The rubric reads:

  • (requirement) Give some facts, interesting websites, additional questions, etc. – this is considered the anticipatory set – the part of the adventure where you get students excited about the question.

  • (requirement) Include an appropriate online game or activity related to your question – don’t just provide a link – give students something specific to do

  • (optional) If appropriate for your topic – create a small gallery of photos that fit the question. But give students something to do with the pictures – or encourage them to create a photo album of their own pictures related to the question.

What is a good hook anyway?

Think about lessons in school that really hooked you in, or made you want to engage in the lesson. The task and hook work hand in hand to focus the students on the learner outcomes. Designing the task and hook is a balancing act between providing the students with a direction and purpose, but not directing them with steps to follow or a menu of choices. The hook is just what it sounds like. It is a way to compel the students to want or need to know and learn the content the teacher has included in the project. Take a look at Thinkfinity – which has many interesting sets of interactive resources regardless of grade or subject area. For interactive media, check this part out. You can search in the keyword search box for your specific content.

PART TWO. Help your student explore

You have already created an essential question(s), task, and a hook. Now it is time to help students explore the topic in depth. What would be things that they don’t know or they may want to know further? Your group will want to create a page on your Google Site, titled Explore. Your group will need to provide a list of websites that are age-appropriate.

Be sure you are not just listing websites, but describing the relevant sites and giving student something to do when they enter a site. The exploration activities should be aligned with the final product (“show what you know”).
Remember, these are two great examples to use if you need help deciding what to include on each page (though you will find their menus and requirements are set up slightly different, but the premise is the same):

  • Monday, April 15 – We’ll figure out how to guide / organize students’ exploration (“Organize” section).
  • Wednesday, April 17 – We will work on the “Apply” and “Parent/Teacher Letter” sections.
  • Friday, April 19 – Group work day. Class does not meet. Film the “Author Introduction.” Keep working on other sections.
  • Monday, April 22 – Last day of Learning Adventure. Final preparation for showcase.
  • Wednesday, April 24 – Learning Adventure due. Presentation I
  • Friday, April 26 – Last day of class. Presentation II
    (Another final assignment due Friday. I will let your know the assignment next week so you may start working on it. It won’t be daunting at all. Also remember you will be asked to write a 2-3 paragraph final update on your progress towards your social media identity goals)
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