Electronic Cultural Exchange Project

 Ron James
 9th grade/World Cultures and Geography

Links to Files Associated with This Lesson 

  1. End of Year Geo Project

  2. Geography Grade Sheet

  3. China(ppt)

Content Area Objectives Addressed:

Technology Objectives Addressed:

·         Using electronic media, i.e. email, to communicate directly with Chinese teens in Shanghai.

·         Using the Internet to access global information sources on Shanghai and China.

·         Presenting information using multimedia, i.e. PowerPoint slide shows to showcase the information gained about Shanghai from the email correspondence and Internet research.

Activity Description

            What was the process that your students went through to complete this lesson?

            All of my 9th grade geography students have to participate in a 4th quarter project in which they pick either an Asian or African nation and do an in-depth report.

 Countries of Asia and Africa

Report Presentation

     Spring and the final 4th quarter have finally arrived; and with the greening of the northern hemisphere should also come the greening of young minds.

 This project is for a major (spelled MAJOR) grade.  It is the last report project you will ever have to do for this class so make it count!

5 class periods will be set aside including some time for research in the computer lab.

You should make every effort to use a variety of sources, it is required that you use at least 4 different sources of information (such as websites, newspapers, magazines, books, interviews, etc)  Be resourceful and creative!

Directions:

1.           Pick either an East/Southeast Asian country or an African Country.  You may also choose to report on a specific ethnic group or region such as Tibet, the Mongols, the Zulus, etc.

  2.  Draw a map and flag of your country; the map should

       illustrate the following:

a)      your selected country or culture region

b)      contiguous countries or regions

c)      enough lines of latitude and longitude to locate your country or region

d)      important physical features such as rivers, mountains, deserts, etc.

e)      important cities or villages including capitals

2.           a written description of your countries physical geography that includes:

a)      size in square miles

b)      land features

c)      waterways

d)      climate information

3.           A brief history; a timeline would work really well for this part.  You need to show how old your country or culture is and list/briefly describe a handful of important events.  Start with the earliest beginnings of your country and bring it up to current times.

4.           What type of government does your country have?  Describe.

5.           a) What type of economy does this country have? 

    b) What kind of currency it has and list it's value

       compared to the U.S. dollar.

    C) What types of resources does this country have and what are its major imports and exports?

6.           Describe the social structure, what is the ethnic and racial make-up of this country?  What are the peoples' beliefs, holidays, sports, customs, etc

7.           keep a list of your sources, a bibliography is required.

8.           Presentation.  You will be required to present a report on your country to the class.

How did you monitor student progress?

Report is divided up into 4 segments, which are first graded separately and then, in the end, as a final project.    Approximately every week or so, the students have to finish a specified part of the report.  So during each period allotted to working on the report, I can assist and monitor students on specific tasks.

           Was there a template or an example that students were expected to follow?

A handout with an outline was provided.

            How much time did you dedicate to this project?

Approximately 7 weeks.

                        Total

                        Daily (approximate)

            How was the final product presented?

Students have to prepare a packet of prepared materials that includes maps, a flag, written descriptions of cultural, geographic, historic and natural features.  In addition, students have to present an oral report to the class.

       Who was the audience for the final product?

Classmates and peers

I will attempt to deliver a copy of the video and PowerPoint presentations to the Chinese student when I go to Shanghai in July.

       Learning Issues

What prior knowledge was required on the part of the students in order for them to be successful in this project? (include curriculum and technology knowledge)

            Students needed to be willing to correspond with an e-mail pen-pal in China.

I provided my students on both sides of the Pacific with just enough background information to help nurture the communication process.

My American students were already quite adept at using PowerPoint as well as using email as a communication tool.

The students who participated in the email exchange were also quite skilled at using the Internet to access information.

Resource Management

            What was the student to computer ratio?

Varied between 1 to 2 students per computer.  Since they worked as partners anyway, this was not a problem at all.

How did you schedule your students’ computer time?

   What was the location of the computers and other technology equipment used by students?

I have two computers in my classroom.  I also scheduled time in the school’s computer lab.  Additional computer time was available in the school library, which also has 6 or 7 computers.

        How would you suggest beginning teachers obtain computer resources for their students? (Knowing some of your strategies would be valuable for our pre-service teachers.)

Rate the level of access for students to use computers/other technologies as they needed  --high, medium, low

            In my school, access is overall High

Rate the level of supervision required for students during the project, specifically for computer and other technology use –high, medium, low

High.  Students often need guidance.  Some need to be monitored so that they only access school appropriate websites.   Also, many students get lost on the cyberhighway, all that information can be bewildering so teacher guidance is a must.

Materials

What hardware was required for your project?

            Computers, printers, scanner, TV monitor, TVator

What software was required for your project?

            Word, PowerPoint, email providers

Anything else?

Assessment

            What kind of assessment did you use for this project?

            Students had 3 deadlines they had to meet; the first two were for specific project items essential to the content of the report.  The purpose being to give them a “push” so to speak.  I monitored their class activities as closely as possible.  I often had students working in my classroom, in the library just across the hall and in the computer lab next door (my classroom has the advantage of being strategically located)   Students, when on the internet or using computers in general, are expected to be on task. Students who use the time to play games or ‘surf’ are immediately taken off the computers and handed an encyclopedia.

The preparation and research constitutes approximately 50% of the grade.

The other part of the assessment is how well they synthesize the material they gathered and then organize it into a coherent report. 

What categories did you assess? (I.e.:  content, screen design, depth/breadth, etc.)     I assess the overall quality of the content and the effort that went into the project.  I know that with Rebecca and Domika’s that they spent every minute of the classtime provided working on the report and that they spent time at home as well.   They accumulated an abundance of information and while much of what they found was then used verbatim, there was, on their part, an ongoing process of critically evaluating information.   The project is worthwhile in that if requires students to deliberately use the internet and other information sources with the intention of gathering specific information. 

Other

How does the product that you submitted compare with other students’ products for this same project?

The submitted project was above average; I knew beforehand that these girls would do a first rate project.  Which is one reason why they were selected.  But they also demonstrated an above average interest in their country.  By corresponding via email with Annie and Nita in Shanghai, Rebecca and Domika became extremely interested in various aspects of Chinese culture; to the extent that they even played around with learning some Chinese characters.   Other students submitted fantastic reports as well;  there were about dozen others that would have been worthy of this particular project.   What set it aside though was the email correspondence between the girls in Twin Falls and the girls in Shanghai.

            What did you like best about this project?

I like the independence that it gives the students.   During the course of this project, my main job was facilitator.  I did some bit teaching to highlight or emphasize important ideas.   But overall the students worked on their own with me in the background as a monitor and facilitator.   I really enjoy helping people learn for themselves and in turn I learn as much, if not more ,than the students do.   Some of them turn up the most amazing facts about places barely on the map.

            What did the students like best about this project? 

They like the independence that goes with this type of project.   They are free to go to the library or computer lab.    They get to do a variety of tasks; drawing and coloring maps, searching the internet for the various bits of information needed to complete the project

And they are learning about a place that they chose to study.

            Rank the level of student involvement in this project –high, medium, low

Very High

            Rank the level of student interest in this project –high, medium, low

Very High

            Would you teach this lesson again?

Yes, it is a great end of the year assessment tool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Countries of Asia and Africa

Report Presentation

9th World Cultures and Geography

Mr. James

 

     Spring and the final 4th quarter have finally arrived; and with the greening of the northern hemisphere should also come the greening of young minds.

 

This project is for a major (spelled MAJOR) grade.  It is the last report project you will ever have to do for this class so make it count!

 

5 class periods will be set aside including some time for research in the computer lab.

 

You should make every effort to use a variety of sources, it is required that you use at least 4 different sources of information (such as websites, newspapers, magazines, books, interviews, etc)  Be resourceful and creative!

 

Directions:

 

1.          Pick either an East/Southeast Asian country or an African Country.  You may also choose to report on a specific ethnic group or region such as Tibet, the Mongols, the Zulus, etc.

 

            2.  Draw a map and flag of your country; the map should

       Illustrate the following:

a)     your selected country or culture region

b)     contiguous countries or regions

c)     enough lines of latitude and longitude to locate your country or region

d)     important physical features such as rivers, mountains, deserts, etc.

e)     important cities or villages including capitals

 

2.          a written description of your countries physical geography that includes:

a)     size in square miles

b)     land features

c)     waterways

d)     climate information

 

3.          A brief history; a timeline would work really well for this part.  You need to show how old your country or culture is and list/briefly describe a handful of important events.  Start with the earliest beginnings of your country and bring it up to current times.

 

4.          What type of government does your country have?  Describe.

 

5.          a) What type of economy does this country have? 

    b) What kind of currency it has and list it's value

       compared to the U.S. dollar.

    C) What types of resources does this country have and what are its major imports and exports?

 

6.          Describe the social structure, what is the ethnic and racial make-up of this country?  What are the peoples' beliefs, holidays, sports, customs, etc

 

7.          keep a list of your sources, a bibliography is required.

 

8.          Presentation.  You will be required to present a report on your country to the class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geography Project
Grade Sheet

1.
Map:
                        
15pts Neatness &Accuracy____/10pts Complete___/=____25pts

                                           Comments:

Flag:                           15pts Neatness & Accuracy___/10pts Complete___/=____ 25pts

                                           Comments:

Due Date: April 28                                 Total=___/50

2.

Intro Paragraph:    5pts length___/10pts mechanics & originality____/=___15pts

History:  meets requirements/ mechanics & originality___15pts

                                   Comments:

Current Events: meets requirements/ mechanics & originality ___15pts

                                    Comments:

(5pts for completion +15 +15 +15 = 50pts total)

Due Date: May 5                                                  Total=_____/50

3.

Government:  meets requirements___/ mechanics & originality ____ 15pts

                                   Comments:

Economy:   meets requirements/mechanics & originality ____15pts

                                    Comments:

Culture:    meets requirements/mechanics & originality ______15pts

                               Comments:

(5pts for completion +15 +15 +15 = 50pts total)           

Due Date: May 12                                               Total=_____/50

 

                               Total Points: ________/150

4.

Final Project:  (Due May 18)

                                 Cover or Title Page:          10 pts

                                 Table of Contents:            10 pts

                                 Bibliography:                   10pts        

                                 Final Report:                   45 pts

                                      Total=                         75 pts + presentation: 75 pts=150pts

                                                                                    ______/150pts

                            

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