Project 1: Search USA
At our school, students in the seventh grade are learning about North America and its cultures. The intent of the STELLAR project is to enhance an existing resource-based unit on the United States, by integrating the use of the Internet as a another resource available to the students.
The resource-based unit is an ongoing project. The unit has been developing over the years by the inclusion of sources that are more varied, current and motivational. The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will enable the most up-to-date resource information to be immediately accessible to the student. The new resource will doubtedly prove interesting to the user.
Specifically, pairs of students focus on one of the states of the USA in order to select particular information pertinent to the objectives of the resource-based unit.
STELLAR Project 1: SEARCH USA is very closely integrated with the objectives of the Grade Seven Social Studies curriculum. The project also addresses the development of skills in the use of computer and communication technology via the Internet.
The student will:
The STELLAR project addresses the provincial Intermediate Social Studies Outcomes in a number of areas. These include:
The STELLAR project also addresses the intended learning outcomes for Technological Education at the Intermediate level. Included in these outcomes are:
The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will enhance the resource-based project in Grade Seven by providing a resource which will assist the student in attaining the curriculum objectives. In addition, the student will be accessing information that is probably the most current available. The hands-on approach will be motivating and foster interest in students. Through the development of active learning strategies employing technology, the Internet connection will contribute to lifelong learning, thus enhancing the overall learning process.
Other resources being utilized in this project include electronic databases [PC Globe/PC USA] and an encyclopedia on CD-ROM. Atlases, almanacs, and print encyclopedias are also used as resources in the unit of study on the United States.
While participating in the project, the student will:
The general impact of the project on the school and the curriculum could probably be evaluated by various means. The attitudes and feelings of the participants can be observed as they go through the process of conducting the search. [A checklist could be constructed for this purpose.]
A post-search questionnaire can further assess their attitudes and feelings. Skill development in using the technology can also be observed. Finally, the knowledge and understandings can also be evaluated through the curriculum objectives.