Chciago Project: Progress and the Final Steps

So far, we’ve completed (or nearly completed) the following steps:

  1. Identified our project objective.
  2. Identified how we are going to do that (project selection).
  3. Collected (at minimum) 10 resources from which we will gather our information.
  4. Created (at minimum) 20 notecards that identify the facts from which we will build our product (that answers our question).

The next steps begin the construction of our product, the “thing” that will show what we’ve learned. Remember to always keep your “big question” in mind. It should drive all of your work.
Some of the below dates are changes, so notice the ALL CAPS or bold type.

  1. The Rough Draft is due at the end of class on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12. Examples of what a rough draft is are on my board, and have been handed out to students. They’re also listed below.
  2. Students may bring materials to build their product in class next week, but remember, time is limited. And another reminder regarding banned items: hot glue guns, spraypaint, styrofoam, and glitter.
  3. FINAL PROJECTS will be due on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18. They may be turned in earlier, if needed.

Remember: rough Drafts are due at the end of class on Friday. These are the expectations for each.

  1. Building a Skyscraper: You’ll need to “sketch” the poster on paper, drawing each side and piece of the building. You should include all measurements, as this will be the starting point for your building. Without blueprints, you cannot build. Every height, length, width, etc. must be measured and listed. Don’t forget – use that 1:585 scale (divide the real measurement by 585 to get the model size). Finally, list the materials and components you’ll need to build.
  2. Photo Album/Scrapbook or Play/Skit/Video: You’ll need to write up a page-by-page (or frame-by-frame, slide-by-slide, or scene-by-scene) list of what you’re doing. This can be a script of sorts, but you need to plan out exactly what you’re doing before you do it.
  3. 3D Poster/Map: Please sketch out what you’re doing, layout what you’re project will look like. If you need to label anything or create a legend, do that now. Finally, list the materials and components you’ll need to build.
  4. Newspaper Article/Research Paper: Outline what you’re going to write. You may use a graphic organize, instead. Whatever the method, you must have at least 3main ideas (for your 3 body paragraphs), and support each of them with facts. Also, write your entire introduction paragraph.

Rubrics for each project can be found here:

3D Poster/Map Rubric

Building a Skyscraper Rubric

Video/Slide Show/Skit/Play Rubric

Newspaper or Research Paper Rubric

Scrapbook/Photo Album Rubric

The Chicago Project

Click Here for Project Description

This is easily the 7th graders favorite project. A few changes have streamlined the process, while actually doing quite a bit more work. Successful completion of the project requires 5 things:

  1. Identifying and researching around an objective (“Big Question”). Each student has selected one. Due 12/4
  2. Identifying and reading at least 10 resources per person. Due to limited IMC availability, this will be largely web resources. I’ve already found great web resources here, though students can use the IMC’s books, I have provided some of my own, and I’m sure your library has some, too.  Here is a sample of what that Resource Sheet should look like. Due 12/9
  3. Making 20 notecards per person, ensuring that they’ve got enough facts to build a project around. Due 12/11
  4. Having a “rough draft” or well structured plan of their project. Due 12/15.
  5. Presenting the project to explain how that helped you learn/answer your objective “Big Question.” This is due with the final product on 12/17.

A few things are banned in my classroom: styrofoam, any kind of paint, glitter and hot glue guns.

The project is designed to guide all work around answering an objective – purposeful research. We’re not doing a craft or an art project, but researching an answer to a Big Question. The product (building, scrapbook, etc.) is simply a fun way to SHOW what we’ve learned. This project also makes students accountable throughout the project, not just at the due date. And finally, the 4 due dates before the final due date should prevent the kids from cramming the last night or two before. Some of that is inevitable, but your kids shouldn’t be saying at dinner on 12/16 “Can I go to the library? I have to do this project tonight?”

The only downside the the limited availability of the IMC.  Our research will be largely web-driven.  Once again, here is a link to 15 resources I have found to be helpful. Obviously, there are much more, but this is a start!

Wikipedia's Clickable Skyline Picture

Above is a great, labeled picture of the skyline (a good starting point for 3D poster people?). You can’t click on it here, but if you go here to Wikipedia’s page, you can do so. It’s great for identifying many buildings you know by sight, but not by name. Better yet, it’s clickable – you can click on the picture and it brings you to wikipedia’s article on that building. I love Wikipedia for this project!

Please, communicate with my any concerns or problems along the way.  We will spend approximately 220-240 minutes working on this in class.  That’s quite a bit of time, but some time will still be needed outside of the classroom.  Please plan accordingly!