Why does the last portion of the year feel like it’ll never end? The rest of the year flies by, but the last few weeks and days drag on FOR…EV…ER.
While school demands fell never ending it doesn’t help that students are getting antsy. Needless to, the struggle bus is real.
A few things that have been working very well for me in the last few weeks is that I’m having my students work on a research paper. I get what you’re probably thinking, Omg, why!? But it’s actually been very successful.
I was toggling back and forth between ending the year with a novel, and I couldn’t decide. As simple as it sounds I just asked the students for their input, and…(drum roll, please) they picked to work on a paper, which I was SUPER excited about because they had just mastered the art of writing a five-paragraph essay. Whoop! Whoop!
I started teaching my brain even more, and finally it came to me, CONSPIRACY THEORIES! So, for the past few weeks my students have been working on their papers in my “coffee shop”, and it’s been a dream!
We’ve slowly been working through the research portion, and I was surprised at their lack of skill in this department. (I’m not blaming them or my colleagues at all, I mean they are 7th graders and I’m used to working with seniors.)
So after evaluating their skills before our researching began I scheduled my weeks like this.
WEEK 1: Intro assignment, discuss credible sources, begin researching PROS
WEEK 2: Review sources, begin researching CONS
WEEK 3: Review sources and pick out the good stuff from the extra. Begin writing if haven’t already.
WEEK 4: Write and work on citing sources, but in-text and works cited page.
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What has been very helpful is that the students are coming up with great topics. We are currently coming into week four and the whole process has been surprisingly easy.
Some of the topics that have come up are:
- Marilyn Monroe
- Amelia Earhart
- Area 51
What had also been a HUGE help is Google Classroom. Because of how the access is set up, or can be set, it makes my students’ lives, and mine, easier. I’m able to sit with students on five them individual attention on thrir assignment. Whether a student has questions of how to create a thesis, transitions, organization, etc., I’m able to jump on to their assignment and show them an example. It’s so great! I can’t imagine what I was doing before Google Doc and Google Classroom.
I’ve had a lot of fun with this assignment, because not only have the students truly had a say in their education, but I’ve enjoyed learning about their conspiracies and finding out what intrigues them.
** If you would like more posts about lesson plans, or anything else, drop a comment below!