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Students in 7th and 8th grade studied the culture and traditions of Día de Muertos celebrations around the world. They investigated the food, costumes, altars, and customs of various people who celebrate their ancestors on this day. Students created videos to explain and share what they learned about
how their location celebrates the holiday. Students used their information literacy skills to find reliable sources and cite their information and images. Working in a team required students to organize and collaborate in order to produce high quality work. This project engages and motivates students by providing the opportunity for creativity and fun.
information from the internet so students used a research outline to help them find sources and organize their thoughts. The outline required students to define their search terms, provided links to possible sources, a structure for determining the validity of resources and guidance for creating citations. See a student example of the completed research guide.
After finishing their research, students used Pages to create a magazine format and then uploaded their finished document to Joomag, an online magazine platform. Using Pages allowed students more flexibility on the formatting of pictures and text than Google Documents. Uploading the final product to Joomag makes it much easier to share the magazines with the public. Learn more about renewable energy options from Yizel's magazine or water issues related to Lake Chapala from Jaime.
Students gave speeches about the topic of their research in class. Then, on May 12, students presented in the 5th Concurso de Oratoria in the auditorium. Four 7th and four 8th grade students spoke passionately about their topic in order to help their peers understand the environmental issues we face in México today. These eight students demonstrated great speaking skills and impressed their peers and the judges. First place 8th grade student, Andrea Arriaga, encouraged us to support the protection of Bosque Primavera. Mariana Aguilar, the 7th grade winner, spoke about water pollution and water access.
Throughout this project, students used a wide variety of technology to research, plan and produce high quality magazines and inspiring speeches. The structure of the research outline helped them formulate their thoughts and find reliable information. The flexibility to pursue their personal interests and design a visually pleasing magazine engaged and motivated students to learn about the environmental issues facing México and share with the world.
Grade 5 students are using some great technology tools to expand their understanding of the world. Using an interactive Zaption video, students learned more about confronting the population problems in India. Unlike lectures, video allows students to back up or rewind if they do not understand a concept. Zaption allows teachers to embed questions and critical thinking as students watch. Students can even create their own Zaptions.
In addition to studying population problems, students are learning about the world's major rivers. These important waters are impacted by over-population and poor sanitation in many parts of the world. Students used an interactive map to help them study the locations of the world's biggest rivers.
The main focus of this research project was for students to understand the true meaning of La Catrina, and the history behind this iconic Mexican image. Also, students learned about the impact of Halloween, and how certain communities in Mexico have been adversely affected by this American tradition.
To demonstrate their learning, students were given three options to create a short two-minute video: an enhanced podcast with images and audio, a Newscast video using a green screen, or a StopMotion video. All photos and audio that students used for their video must have been published under a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Share-Alike licensure. Each video that was uploaded to YouTube, was also published under the same licensure. Feel free to view an example from Ms. Rosana's 2nd period class.
If you have any questions about this project, contact Mr. Nelson.