Project 2: Language Arts Project

General Information
Project Overview
Curriculum Connections
Resource Connections
Evaluation

  General Information

Project Leader(s): Floyd Spracklin
Language Arts Department Head
Grade 9 Language Arts Teacher
fspackl@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca

Sharon Cook
Grade 9 Languages Arts Teacher
scook@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca

School: G.C. Rowe Junior High School
St. John's Avenue
Corner Brook, NF
A2H 2E5
Internet Address: http://www.k12.nf.ca/gcrowe/
Grade Level: All Grade 9 students (170 intended participants)
Project Start and Finish Dates September, 1997 - November, 1997

  Project Overview

The current Grade 9 Language Arts programme at G.C. Rowe Junior High has four units of work which students complete during the year. We have two generic units, "The Novel" and "Drama" (organized by genre), and we have two thematic units "Struggles" and "Relationships" (organized by theme). During the Struggles Unit students research "heroes" and write reports about their findings. This current project will provide students Internet research access and with a Canada-wide and even global interactive collaborative learning opportunity that uses e-mail and on-line newsgroups or discussion groups. It will also be a means for publishing and sharing results through the creation of a web site.

Goals:

  1. To create an opportunity for students to use the Internet as a research resource
  2. To link our Grade 9 students with other schools in a discussion group through either SchoolNet or Global SchoolNet.
  3. To construct a Web Page called, Our Canadian Heroes.
  4. To provide students with a wider understanding of "audience" for their writing.

  Curriculum Connections

Language Arts

Main curriculum areas addressed by the project include:

  • summary writing
  • research writing
  • research strategies
  • analysis
  • comparison
  • keyboarding and wordprocessing

During the study of conflict in the Struggles Unit, students will discover real-life instances of conflicts, turning points, climaxes, and resolutions. The Struggles Unit is one of four units which Grade 9 students study at G.C. Rowe. Keyboarding and Wordprocessing is introduced in Grade 7 and continued into Grade 8 and Grade 9, and is an on-going part of the entire Language Arts programme.

In preparation for their work with both CD-ROM and with Internet, students will brainstorm in the classroom to develop a list of possible "search words". They will use these search words or terms to search for items about heroes in The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus. One of the components of the Struggles Unit asks students to use The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus CD-ROM to do a search for heroes and to read any five of the items found in their search. Students will also check the dictionary definitions provided by The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus.

Students will create a discussion group or newsgroup of students on the Internet to get feedback about heroes and to put their own tentative definitions up for review or discussion.

After having completed these tasks, students formulate their own definitions for heroes. Students are then assigned "task cards" describing the next step. Cards vary in difficulty and ask students to check one of several paint sources for an article or story about a hero. After having read the piece, students write a summary of what happened in the story and then have to test out their definitions of a hero against the selection they have read. Students will then post these results in the newsgroups or discussion groups and wait for feedback.

While students are awaiting responses, they will use some of the same search words they used with the CD-ROM in various Internet Search Engines. There, they will search for a story about a Canadian hero, one distinguished during war time.

Students will write the results of their findings into a four-part report: 1) definition of a hero, 2) summary of story about first hero, 3) summary of story about second hero, 4) explanation of how each matches students definitions.

Students will design a Web site for Our Canadian Heroes, and each of their reports will be posted at this site. We also hope to use Global SchoolNet, SchoolNet, RINGS, and Web sites to locate other schools with similar projects and to share ideas with these schools.

Intended learning outcomes and how they relate to the provincial learning outcomes

  • critical learning skills
  • research
  • writing process in the three-part report
  • exchange of ideas and opinions among participants
  • participation in online peer editing programme

  Resource Connections

The STELLAR Schools connection will enhance the Our Canadian Heroes project within the Struggles Unit in a number of ways. It will provide an opportunity to share ideas with and gain new insights from other students on the Internet. It will provide technological resources. It will demonstrate to students that the results of a Search depends on what search words are used. Other resources being utilized include print materials available in our school's Learning Resources Centre and The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus on CD-ROM.

  Evaluation

Speaking and Listening
  • Our students will present their viewpoints on heroes in a convincing manner.
  • Students will use the Internet to communicate with other students, either by e-mail, webpages, or discussion groups & newsgroups.

Reading and Viewing
  • Our students will demonstrate understanding that information texts are constructed for particular purposes.
  • Our students will select sources appropriate to their purposes from a wide range.
  • Our students will use the electronic network.
  • Our students will develop approaches and strategies to conduct their research.
  • Our students will respond to some of the material they read or view by questioning, connecting, evaluating, and extending.
  • Our students will move beyond initial understanding to more thoughtful expression.
  • Our students will express and support a point of view about texts and about issues, themes, situations within text, citing appropriate evidence.
  • Our students will critically evaluate information presented in print and media texts.

Writing and Other Ways of Representing
  • Our students will use note-making to reconstruct knowledge and select effective strategies appropriate to the task.
  • Students will demonstrate facility in creating texts for a specific purpose and audience.
  • Our students will create a Web Page on the Internet called, Our Canadian Heroes, to reach a wider audience with their writing.
  • Our students will integrate information from several sources (print, CD-ROM, and the Internet) to construct and communicate meaning.

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