What can we learn by investigating the life and work of a scientist? This essential question has been the focus of Science 7 classes during their first research project of the year.

As seventh graders, students have built upon the research skills they were introduced to in fifth and sixth grade. Ravenscroft teaches research skills using the Big6 information literacy process, a systematic method allowing students to solve information needs or problems in six stages: task definition, information seeking, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation. This assignment allowed students to hone these skills, with an emphasis on topic exploration.

Middle school science teachers Dr. Michelle Nunalee and Mrs. Marcia Ostendorff collaborated with librarians in the creation of this learning opportunity. “One of the goals of this project,” Dr. Nunalee said, “ included building in opportunities for students to explore how an individual’s culture and life experiences helped shape the impact they had as a scientist. We felt that this was an authentic way to weave Lead From Himg_2579ere into our curriculum, while also providing opportunities to integrate themes from the World Geography 7 course.”

As students explored noteworthy scientists, they were asked to delve into the impact that culture, identity, and perspective had on the individual’s contribution on the world. Dr. Rhonda Zayas, middle/upper school librarian, enjoyed working with this group of students on this project. “It is wonderful to see the growth in research and information literacy skills that this group of students have honed during their time at Ravenscroft. I am also pleased to see the connection that students are able to make with Lead From Here through the essential question they were charged to answer.”   

img_4759The final product for this assignment allowed students to synthesize their information in the creation of a visual image/collage, children’s book, poster, poem, or song. Students were also exposed to two new digital storytelling tools, too: Cube Creator and Little Bird Tales. Students had the opportunity to select the product format and layout that spoke to them, allowing for greater ownership and autonomy.
Student work will be on display in the Middle and Upper School Library Technology Center throughout the month of September.

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