Monday, March 5, 2012

North Carolinian Biography Project

'Tis the season for biographies it seems! We have been busy working with third graders on biographical research about famous local people who had an impact on the Piedmont area of North Carolina. It is surprisingly difficult to find much on many of these people, so we relied mostly on NCpedia for information. It is a higher reading level, but the students were working in pairs so they helped each other. If anyone has a suggestion for slightly lower level information on some of these people, I would love the help! Most of them are not on World Book or other online encyclopedia sources. I learned a lot about some people too!

Anyway, back to the project. Students drew a name of a person, working in partners they read about them on NCpedia and took notes on early life, education, accomplishments, and how they helped people in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. Then, they left the computers and put the information into sentences at the tables to encourage them to use their own words. We had them keep the sentences short because of the final project we were doing, but I will get to that in a minute. Next, they typed the sentences in Word to save them, saved a picture, and used a citation maker to create the citation for their information source. Once that was all done, they made one of these!

These magazine covers turned out pretty well and the kids got a kick out of a different way to present the information. (They mostly loved choosing the colors for the sentences really!) These are from BigHugeLabs and are very easy to do, but you can't save works in progress which is why we had them type into Word first so they would not lose work if they ran out of time or something happened. Then, they just cut and pasted the sentences into the cover. **Be aware - if the sentence is too long, it gets cut off. They do have full citations, but you can't see the whole thing on the image. That is why we had them keep their sentences shorter. It did take us a little longer than we expected for the kids to get everything done, so we scheduled 5 classes instead of the original 4 and were done in about two weeks probably. I think if we had an information source that didn't take quite as much time for them to wade through it would help.

Any ideas for information sources on local famous North Carolinians? I found lots of lists, but most of them didn't impact North Carolina, lots of actors, etc.

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