Sue Miller and Valerie Becker: "In Search of the Thirteen Colonies"
Title: "In Search of the Thirteen Colonies"
Authors: Sue Miller and Valerie Becker
Grade Levels: Upper Elementary (4-6)
Map out what they need to know
Collect and store information which contributes to the building of understanding
Create multimedia project
Two tiers of learning: One is "How to research?" or process based and one is
"What am I studying?" or content based.
How do I ﬁnd what I?m looking for?
How do I show what sources affected my thinking?
Why did the colonies develop in North America?
What are the boundaries of this colony? How does that shape the identity
of the people who live there?
How does where you live affect how you live?
A strong organizational structure drives the research and the production process.
People interact and are effected by their environment.
The colonies independence became the foundation of the United States.
Group identity shapes ideas, choices, and actions of individuals.
The natural resources and location of a place significantly affect the livelihood,
politics, and opportunities of the people living there.
1. Students work in small groups and draw a colony from a hat to research.
2. Rubrics & project sheet are explained.
3. Model using Webspiration - "What information do you need?" "What questions
need to be answered in order to create your project?"
4. Model using yolink, Sweet Search and EasyBib.
5. Students gather information & save it to Google Docs (shared with teacher).
6. Students organize information from multiple sources.
7. Students present and evaluate.
Why was the colony established? By whom?
What was the environment like in the colony? How did this impact/
influence the food they ate or the industry they created?
What did they eat?
What was the economy centered around?
What did people do for fun? What kinds of clothes did they wear? Did
children go to school? What were the schools like?
How did people communicate and travel? What religion did they practice?
How did they decide on laws? Were there town meetings?
What role did this colony have on the Revolutionary War?
3. Develop "smart" questions?
Brainstorm a list of questions.
Catagorize the questions.
Identify which questions are the most interesting.
4. Research (Demonstrate with one or two topic questions.)
• Go to SweetSearch Social Studies and search one of the questions for your
• Use yolink to find the words in your question that are highlighted.
• Find the section or page that you think will answer your question.
• Does it answer or help answer the question? If not, go to the next entry
• If it answers the question, look at words and phrases. Ask yourself: Which of
these words and phrases answer my question?
• Record on Google docs
• Record sites at Easybib - Do this as you research so you don't miss recording all
of your sources.
5. Go to Google docs and extract needed Information from the yolink notes
• Note-taking consists of four types: citation, summary, paraphrase, and
• Students should learn to omit all words or phrases not essential to the meaning
• Summarize as necessary and add written comments and reactions to the notes
• Notes are shared with the teacher
6. Finding media
The Educator's Guide to Copyright and Fair Use
7. Cite sources! It is easy on EasyBib
7. Research Project Examples
View student work at class wiki site. Projects include Glogs, Flipcharts and
8. Assessment: Rubrics for Colonial Multimedia Project and Research
Colonial Multimedia Project
NETS Standards Addressed:
Information Access and Use
• Identify topic and formulate questions for information needs
• Use technology resources to locate information
• Select, evaluate, analyze and synthesize information
• Record and organize information
• Use bibliographic form to record sources of information
• Report findings in written, oral or visual presentations
• Access and use the on-line periodical index
• Research and Information Retrieval
• Use appropriate curriculum based software