Monday, December 17, 2007

Geography Research

I love for my students to do research about other countries. I make sure that no one has the same country so they can’t copy answers from each other. Of course my students do not know how to organize the information they found so I give them a worksheet with the information I would like for them to complete. They use this to help them when they are making a poster or a PowerPoint presentation using their research. Many times I have seen teachers tell their students to do research on a topic but they don’t teach them what information they should look for. How many times have you had a student just copy things out of an encyclopedia hoping that somewhere in that “mess” you will find the answers you want in order for them to get a good grade? Once I teach my students to focus on certain information, they are more engaged in the assignment. I have them do research on a country about every other month. First I use the worksheet as a guide for the first 3 times (name of country, population, language, religion, food, landmarks, exports, imports, government, flag and anything else interesting), then I don’t give them a worksheet after that but I just ask them the name of the country and then ask them to list 10 major facts about the country. Sometimes they will even help each other with what to look for so I know they are remembering what I consider important. When they are done, we display posters and PowerPoint presentations around the room for a month. Sometimes I will throw in a bonus question on a test using information from the work so my students usually look over the displays.

1 comment:

Jose Vilson said...

I never thought about that at all. Sometimes I do this unconsciously, but really this needs to be done more. Actually teaching the kids how to research, something some teachers are definitely missing. I teach math, so it's not as necessary, but it makes me think of how I can make my own students more adept at tackling math problems. Hmm. Thanks.