You will soon be using the library to find information on trees (or topic assigned by teacher.) To successfully locate this information you will need to do some planning before you begin using the library catalog, the Internet, books, encyclopedias and other library tools. Most things go better if you do some planning first; this is true of library research. Today we will use Kidspiration®, a software program that will help you think of questions for your research.
The student will use Kidspiration®, a computer program that helps students develop a concept web, to develop questions to guide their research and help them understand relationships among the ideas that are generated.
Input and Modeling
The teacher will lead a group brainstorming discussion about the desired topic. Simultaneously s/he will use Kidspiration® on the computer, attached to a large screen monitor or video data projector. As students generate ideas, the teacher will guide the discussion to enable students to link ideas to form the web. It is imperative that the students watch the development of the concept web and talk about the connections as well as the individual ideas. While the teacher can be the person who both operates the computer and directs the discussion, it is optimal to have a teacher, library media specialist or experienced adult assist in the process, so that one person may lead the discussion while the other records ideas on the computer.
The teacher leads the discussion, notes the prior learning of the students and provides information and clarification of misconceptions as needed. Through the discussion, students will have been introduced to common vocabulary and uniform interpretations of the categories to be used in the notes. The ability to change from a graphic representation to a written format will benefit students for whom outlining skills are difficult. Students will use a print version of the outline to take notes from various resources.
The teacher would be wise to predetermine the main idea(s) that will be visually shown in order to better guide discussion. It is possible to develop one web for the entire topic, such as "trees". If the plan requires great detail, it is also possible to develop several webs placing each major subtopic in a "First Idea" category. (Diagram created using Kidspiration® by Inspiration® Software, Inc.)
Conversion to Notes for Research
Once the brainstorming is complete and ideas have been linked into appropriate categories as shown above, the web may be converted to a writing project that shows main ideas and subtopics by clicking on the Writing icon in Kidspiration® Kidspiration This view can become the actual note-taking worksheet to be used by the student. It will reflect the exact ideas and words developed in the diagram. The final note-taking sheet can be adjusted by number of lines needed for each section of notes. The prefix style can be adjusted to show bullets or an outline form. (Diagram created using Kidspiration® by Inspiration® Software, Inc.)
A source sheet should be added to document all information resources used. The teacher can determine the system he/she prefers for keying notes to the appropriate source.
In a lab setting, students use Kidspiration® to develop a web specific to their assigned tree.
Students will be able to use Kidspiration® as a graphic organizer for other teacher-assigned projects.
Participation in brainstorming will be observed by the teacher and library media specialist, who will also check with each student prior to the beginning of note taking to see that they understand the web concept and how to use it in their research.
Sample Completed Web
(Diagram created using Kidspiration® by Inspiration® Software, Inc.)
Kidspiration® is a product of Inspiration Software. www.inspiration.com
This page was last updated on May 02, 2008.