Pretend you are living during the Civil Rights Movement. You are a witness to one the many events that took place during this time period. An event will be assigned to you. Your job will be to research the event and collect as much information as possible. You will use this information to write a personal narrative about your experience as a witness to the event. Your experience will include what you saw and heard on that day. It will also include how you felt about the situation and your opinion on the event.
This lesson will take approximately two weeks to implement and is perfect for Black History Month. It should be done in collaboration between an ELA and/or social studies teacher, and a school library media specialist. The lesson is divided into two separate parts; however, either part can be used independently.
Part one is the WebQuest, where the students will use a variety of text/web/multimedia resources provided by the SLMS to expand their knowledge about the Civil Rights Movement, and write a personal narrative. The second part is the Wiki, where students post their narratives for their classmates to read, and engage in meaningful discussion through the commenting feature. Another option with the Wiki is to have students revise and/or edit each other's work. The lesson is designed to implement Web 2.0 technology into the curriculum to foster 21st century learning skills.
Step 1 (one or two days): Instructor uses this time to go over the WebQuest. Task, Process, and Evaluation should be discussed in depth. Show the students how easy it is to access the resources, encourage note taking, make sure the students understand how they will be evaluated, review the structure of personal narratives, and go over proper citation techniques. Assign students a topic.
Step 2 (three days to a week): During this time students will be in the school library media center researching. Each individual needs access to a computer with the Internet and headphones. Because the students need both online and text resources, they can alternate days on the computers if necessary. One group could be utilizing text resources while another works on the computers. Students need to take notes and write down the source from which they got the information.
Step 3 (this can be done as an in or out of class assignment): Students write their personal narratives. They will need to be typed. A hard copy should be handed in to the teacher for grading.
Step 4 (one or two days): Instructor introduces students to Wiki. Give the students user name and password. Show them how to create a new page where they will copy and paste their narratives. Show them how to comment on each other's work. Have them post their narratives to the Wiki.
Optional Step: Students could be assigned to edit and revise another student's work. To implement this step the instructor would have to first review the aspects of editing and revision and write up some assignment guidelines.
Step 5 (this can be done as an in or out of class assignment): Students are required to comment on each other's narratives to initiate discussion. Have the students tell their classmates what they liked, what interested them, and what they learned. They should be required to make a connection and ask a question as well. To ensure that the commenting is spread out, students should be required to comment on the three classmates' narratives posted below theirs. Furthermore, students should be required to respond to comments, and ideally engage in discussion.