Organizing our History Fair Research

After six or seven days of research, students have developed a good amount of knowledge regarding their topics. Students usually fall into one of three camps:

  1. Struggling to find information which gives them details about their event.
  2. Plenty of information giving them a rich, contextualized story.
  3. A poignant story which begins to explain the effects of their topic.

The first camp is understandable. Difficult topics, trying to collaborate with peers, and confusion about how to find sources confuses students. Here’s a great example of the second group of students:

screenshot-2017-01-10-at-9-31-42-pmscreenshot-2017-01-10-at-9-31-59-pm

Aidan did a good job collecting a broad amount of information regarding the Pullman Strike. His story reflects that, but only hints at the “turning point” for worker’s rights. Granted, he might have that and stopped his paragraph there. Had he been able to fit it in, his story may be similar to Izzy’s excellent example:

screenshot-2017-01-10-at-9-32-53-pmscreenshot-2017-01-10-at-9-33-01-pm

Izzy’s summary does an excellent job explaining the event, then takes it a step further by explaining how this event created a concrete change – other stands were taken by groups like theirs. This is a marginal difference – we’re really splitting hairs with two great students – but this nuanced suggestion that her event caused another event is evidence of change. The prior example states it without an example of evidence. That’s the direction we want to start moving in.

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