Project 2: Artifact Box

General Information
Project Overview
Project Goals
Curriculum Connections
Learning Outcomes
Resource Connections
Evaluation

  General Information

Lead Teachers: Linda Shears - Grade 5 Teacher
lshears@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca

Jean Pope - Special Services Teacher
jpope@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca

School:Humber Elementary School
St. John's Avenue
Corner Brook, NF
A2H 2E5
Grade Level:Grade 5
Number of Students:33
Project Start and Finish Dates:March/97 - May/97

  Project Overview

The Artifact Box Exchange Network is an interschool project involving students in the development of a set of artifacts, or "clues", that are representative of their locale. Students work in groups to collect, tag, reference and package these clues. Using a checklist of twenty-five locally available objects, each participating class is responsible for conducting an academic scavenger hunt to locate such items as a picture of a local landmark, a sample of a food product that is grown in their region, a set of seasonal weather reports from a town newspaper, or a two-inch portion of an area roadmap. This collection of artifacts is placed in categories according to their difficulty to "solve", along with suggestions for finding appropriate references.

The box is exchanged directly with a "mystery" partner classroom in a distant locale, the identity of which is known only to each classroom's teacher. Without revealing the location from which these artifacts were collected, the receiving teacher displays the box's contents to student researchers in the partner school. These students are then assigned the task of using available reference books, non-print resources and the Internet to identify the country, state or province, and town from which these artifacts were gathered. It has proven to be a unique and motivating activity that affords students a first-hand experience with basic social studies and science concepts.

  Project Goals

  1. To develop creative and critical thinking skills.
  2. To help students compare their culture with communities in distant locations.
  3. To motivate students to skillfully apply advanced reference and non-print resources.
  4. To acquaint students with the content and processes used by geographers, archaeologists, scientists and anthropologists.
  5. To improve students' attitudes toward social studies, research skills and science instruction.
  6. To acquaint students with the Internet as a research tool as well as a means of communicating directly with their partner school, once it has been identified.
  7. To appreciate the importance of cooperation in group activities.

  Curriculum Connections

The Artifact Box Project will assist students in acquiring the global concept of community and humanity. It will help students appreciate their cultural heritage . Communication and research skills will be enhanced through use of the Internet as a tool to both research the clues of their partner school and to communicate directly with the students in the partner school.

  Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop an understanding of the nature of online communications and its limitations.
  2. Identify real life communication problem situations and opportunities.
  3. Develop a vocabulary of terminology and language, related to selected communication technologies.
  4. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of selected communications technologies.
  5. Use communications technologies to collaborate with students, teachers and others at a distance to gain understanding of problems and opportunities in production.
  6. Use communication tools to access, evaluate and select appropriate information, and to create, modify and disseminate information.
  7. Use communication technologies to build new knowledge from existing information.

  Resource Connections

Such sources as tourist brochures, encyclopedias, almanacs and atlases will be used to aid students' research. These sources will complement student use of the Internet.

  Evaluation

Students will:

  1. collate information "clues" about their locale.
  2. use the Internet in the following ways:
    1. as a tool in acquiring clues to send to their partner school.
    2. as a tool in solving the clues which are sent from their "mystery" partner school.
    3. as a means of communicating directly with their partner schoolmates, once their identity has been confirmed.
  3. develop creative and critical thinking skills.
  4. will enhance their research skills.
  5. will compare their culture, climate and way of life with those of a distant community.
  6. appreciate the importance of cooperation in group activities.

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