Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Modeling Research: A Study of Afghanistan
While we learn this information, I will also model the many tools, materials, and processes we can use to research. I will model these efforts often in the weeks to come as we prepare for the spring student research project.
Hence today, we'll begin with a discussion about how you may travel via the Internet. We'll start with the child-friendly research site, National Geographic for Kids, and together we'll read and study a slide show about Afghanistan.
As we study, we'll write down the questions, surprises, and facts that we think are very interesting or important.
Later, we'll watch a video of a photographer from National Geographic who has spent many years studying, photographing, and visiting Afghanistan. I will tell the students that this is a kind of job some of them may be interested in--the job of visiting places and recording the stories, people, and events of that place as a writer, photographer, photo-journalist, historian, archeologist, anthropologist, researcher, or many other professions.
After that we'll bring it back to the story, and the action of research in general with the following questions:
1. How did this Internet research change the way you think about the book, Razia's Ray of Hope? Do you understand the book and/or characters better? Were you left with more questions or less?
2. As a researcher, how might you use video or Internet information to develop your understanding of a topic?
In the days that follow we'll continue our study by creating circle graphs with Afghanistan's statistics demonstrating the ways that data and statistics can help to build one's contextual understanding of a topic or place. We'll also read about the Afghanistan War, the background information for the story, and other current events with child-appropriate text. Finally we'll read about the author and prepare questions for her visit.
Razia's Ray of Hope is a rich narrative that introduces children to important information related to reading, writing, and the world around them. It's a story often untold which piques students' interest and generates many questions thus broadening students' world view and study skills in a way that create a foundation for greater understanding, study, and share.