Note this is one of the posts I will be bringing over from my previous blog. This was originally posted on February 7, 2013.
One of the most valuable ways we use our class set of iPod Touches is with quick, in the classroom research. In my fifth grade social studies classes we are in the middle of learning about the American Revolutionary War. We first do a short overview unit and follow it up with a more detailed timeline style unit. We just finished up the overview unit, but since we only have a little over a week before our February break I didn’t want to start the detailed unit. I’d imagine it is the same with most ages, but I have found with fifth graders a week off equals them forgetting everything we started.
I was surfing the internet looking for mini project ideas that were valuable learning experiences and that would take up the short time we have before our week of vacation. After a little while I found a teacher’s website who had her students make trading cards of different historical figures. I “stole” this idea and went to work on creating a Revolutionary War trading card set. The card set has ten cards; Benjamin Franklin, King George III, George Washington, Sam Adams, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Burgoyne, Charles Cornwallis, Thomas Paine and John Hancock. I created each card using Microsoft Publisher. The fronts of the cards have the person’s name the “side” they were on and a coloring book style portrait. The backs of the cards have the person’s name, a card number (1-10), a line for birth date, and lines for “career statistics.” The “career statistics” are what the person did during the Revolutionary War.
For some of the cards my students already knew some facts and could begin filling in the “career statistics” section. However, for most of the cards the students had to look up information about the person using their iPod Touches. This was not only a good opportunity for students to learn about Revolutionary War figures, but also a good opportunity for me to reteach and review the best methods for searching for information on the internet.
So far this mini project has proven successful and I may even expand it next year or to my sixth grade social studies classes.