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Student Products - Grade 4
from practitioner at the Joseph Lee School
Historical Research: An Interview
Activity Title: Historical Research: An Interview
Curriculum Standards: Fourth Grade Social Studies: Student Products
(SEE: Citywide Learning Standards and Curriculum Frameworks, page 148,
Version 96.1, June 28, 1996)
Historical Research: An Interview (using a minimum of two sources)
- Identify the key events or issues that the person needs to address
- Develop thoughtful questions to ask the person of historical significance
- Develop appropriate answers that the person might have given to the questions
- In question-answer format, produce a written dialogue with the person
- Make connections between historical events, persons and/or issues in the question-answer interview
- Reflect the views of the person during the interview
- Provide sufficient background information on the person of historical significance (see: Internet resources)
- Analyze cause-and-effect relationships during the interview
- Gather information from at least two sources, including books, periodicals, and primary source documents
- Explain the information and events in sequence, and provide background to them
- Consider the person on his/her own terms, including the norms, values and customs of the day, as well as the political and economic conditions
- Consider multiple perspectives
- Organize the interview in a logical manner
- Use terms that are appropriate to the times
- Use appropriate language, conventions, and presentation techniques (see English Language Arts standards: Writing; Listening, Speaking, and Presenting).
- A written dialogue with a person which includes open-ended, issue-oriented questions and answers
- 1. A biography book of an individual who has made historically significant contributions
- 2. Other print sources such as an encyclopedia and books
- 3. Electronic resources (CD-ROM)
- 4. Internet resources
It is often meaningful to correlate the reading of biographies with other thematic activities going on in the classroom. This historical research and interview portfolio product fits well into a study of the United States presidents, while focusing on Black History Month or Women's Heritage Month, or during a study of scientists and inventors.
Whenever the time is appropriate, direct each class member to read a biography about a person that he/she feels is historically significant with the intent of gathering information about the individual's life and sharing it with the class.
As a precursor to doing the actual portfolio product for which I would require a minimum of 2 sources, assign each child to:
- prepare an oral presentation to the class appearing as the individual (dressed as the individual) or speaking in the first person as the individual during a "Women's Heritage Conference" or a "You Are There - Hispanic Convention" where each biographical character relates how he/she has made contributions to history based on the biographical information the child learned in the book he/she read.
- research the life of the individual and write a brief factual report based on his/her life with data gathered from an encyclopedia or other source (print or electronic data)
- After each class member has a grasp of the individual's life, begin to guide the entire class in an exercise of what types of questions are open-ended, issue-oriented, and reveal the character's historical significance and how to write the questions for his/her individual person.
- Allow the students to peer edit each other's drafts and provide time in an author's circle for each student to share his/her questions and answers for evaluative feedback from the class.
- When each student has created what he/she feels is a quality product (use the checklist included in the Curriculum Frameworks), he/she should write or type it in final form.
- 1. Evaluate the student's ability to comprehend, compare, and contrast relevant information about an individual's life.
- 2. Evaluate the student's ability to create open-ended, issue-oriented questions and answers while gathering information from two sources.
- 1. A ClarisWorks slideshow of the finished portfolio product
- 2. Begin by helping each child search the online BPL Circulation Database.
- 3. If the student selected a woman, submit each student's report to the then website called the "Encyclopedia of Women's History"
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Created in 1996. Last modified: January 29, 2008. Copyright 1999 - Marjorie Duby. All rights reserved.
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