I literally started this lesson with how do you feel about research? What comes to mind when I say research? I thought they might sugar coat it a little but they didn't.
-lot of reading
-learning new stuff
-takes a long time
-a poster (this one had me do a little eyebrow raise)
-bunch of grades
-takes too long
I also heard some sighs and saw some looks being passed.
I then asked them to think back to their last research project. I said you found an article in and encyclopedia and you checked out a book (teacher requirements not mine.) Raise your hand if you read the book and article from start to finish? About 2 per class. I then showed them the basic research form (I made this form for another lesson) and asked them if they just read the book/article to find the answers that the teacher put on the form. EVERYBODY else raised their hand, including me.
I told them that is just what I use to do too. Why? Why is research still the same way it was 40 years ago? When I said to the kids why did they think they do that one brave soul say "Why do you give us the exact questions to answer if you want us to learn more?" Well good question buddy - why do we do that. The lesson took a turn and I let them talk. I did explain sometimes teachers are told what to teach and when just like they are but lets make this research business better!
The lesson was suppose to be about note taking and how important that was, we finally got around to that. I asked how many of them write their report with their source put away, with just their notes in front of them. Again about 2 raised their hands. I think explained how taking notes is the most important part and that is what we were going to work on. So here is my new plan. It might take a month because I only see them once a week.
*They are each going to pick a person of interest and look them up in Worldbook.
*They are going to decide what to find out about that person. (does it matter when and where they were born - really?)
*They are going to take notes on a blank piece of notebook paper. No boxes, No suggestions, No hints.
*They are going to find a second source, might be a book online, might be a magazine article might be an interview. I'm not going to tell them it has to be one book and one encyclopedia article.
So stay tuned to see what we get. I have a feeling some will need the guidance or suggestions of things to look for but most won't. I refuse to lock them into a box form where they only look for that information.