Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Dust Bowl Collaborative Event (8th Grade)

One of our big collaborative project events during the first semester is centered around the Dust Bowl Era. 8th Grade English classes read Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. To help make this period come to life for students, we started this as a one day project in 2012 and continued it in 2013 (as a two day event). We had a table with dishes set up in the library with dirt all over the top. We also had signs and posters from the period (Coca-Cola, Grapette, other various advertisements).

Pictured from left to right: Stony Evans (LMS), Ray Borel (Library Assistant), Mari Simmons (8th English), Shea Gregory (8th English).

As a change for 2013, we decided to create an introductory skit using iMovie. We dressed and acted as characters (farmers) from the book. Here is the video:

If you can't see the video link above try this: http://goo.gl/L1E3hg

We also dressed as these characters for the first day of the event. We had 5 different learning "stations" set up in the library media center. Students rotated through the stations in timed sessions and recorded their thoughts/ reflections and answered questions.

Station 1: Dust Bowl Blues- Song by Woody Guthrie with a video playing on the screen. The video featured pictures from the Dust Bowl.

Station 2: iPad Video of film footage from the 1930's. 

Station 3: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's speech after his tour of the Dust Bowl region. This was delivered on a computer, but we set up a mock up of a radio from the 1930's so students could get a glimpse of technology from the period.

Station 4: Slide Show of various images from the era.

Station 5: A Dust Bowl "wind tunnel" was created with sound and visual effects for students to travel through on their way to the computer lab connected to the library. Once in the lab, students had a Webquest about the Dust Bowl. The Webquest was linked to Edmodo for easy access.

As a follow-up to the Dust Bowl event, students completed a brief evaluation that was added as a link to Edmodo. The evaluation was a Google Form. It was easy for the teachers and library media specialists to analyze the feedback to improve future projects.

Go here to see how we improved this collaboration by adding food and science!

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