Exhibition: The Down and Dirty Research

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A student interviews our art teacher about expressionism

When it comes down to it, the PYP exhibition involves a lot of research. How old do I sound with the students as I talk longingly of the days when I went to the library, looked in the card catalog, and found books and magazines. It seemed so easy.

As we know, the world is now vast. During the Exhibition, we want students to reach for a variety of sources. We want them to move beyond the website search. So, we’re requiring that students get an interview, make a local visit, find a print source, a video and an online source.

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Research Learning Intentions

Interviews have opened up worlds for these students. At ages 10-11, they relate well to people, not necessarily experts, but people with knowledge. They need help finding those people, but once they do, they’re excited and seem to be able to quickly relate the information that person has told them.

For example, one of my students interviewed my cousin about the times he had malaria. He was open to talking, and because he had a serious type of malaria, he knew a lot about it. My student learned a lot, just from that set of questions. He even had more and wrote him back.

We’ve involved the school and parent community in our interviews. Today, our director stopped by to talk to a student about infectious diseases. Another student interviewed the art teacher. We found a parent who could talk to a student about underwater salvaging.

Interviews and surveys are accessible to the students.

For websites and magazines, we’ve relied a lot on our librarian and our YIS libguides where there are lists of resources that students can access and databases. Our librarian has even designed a PYP Exhibition page with all of the students’ names and resources she finds that are appropriate to them. On our PYP Exhibition blog, we’ve created a page of documentary films that are free, online encyclopedias and major news sources where students can find information.

Research is huge, and we’ve tried to simplify it as best as we can. It’s challenging with so much out there.

And then there’s the notetaking….We helped set up a sample page to help organize the students because not only do you have to sift through so much information on line, you have to be able to synthesize it and put it in your own words in an organized manner. Ah…There’s so much to Exhibition.

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