I'm beginning to accumulate small reading and learning experiences for my 8th graders. One of the learning targets the CCSS standard
"CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts."
At the start of school, I will select the reading passages and offer lots of support and guidance...hoping to gradually build that into students searching and finding a variety of credible sources. I love this NPR story about wildfires...because students can listen to the story while they also read the information. I've included a graphic and an introductory article that is well below the 8th grade level.
I decided to use MentorMob....thanks to Brenda Sherry and Peter Skillen for so fantastically modeling these in last year's curriculum adventures. It is a web-based tool where I can collect a set of resources and it will be easy for students.
Update: I was re-thinking this activity and I wanted to center it on reading to be sure...but I also wanted to hook it into one of the NGSS standards of asking questions. I felt like this activity was too reading oriented, and while the science was cool, I wasn't sure students would find it engaging. So I went looking for things to tie in the fundamental skill of asking questions.
I wanted to start them off with an interesting topic and the task of defining questions. The idea was for them to read thru the materials and do all their research to answer the question I posed....but also for them in order to answer my question have to pose their own. It seemed like a perfect way to also teach writing good questions....sorting and sifting them into the questions that can be answered by science, the questions that can be solved by engineering and questions that don't fit into either category.
Now I liked this activity much better.
Something that I didn't realize would happen and totally makes me like MentorMob even better is this....when I added the video clip to my Mentor Mob, the little window of resources automatically updated. I didn't have to go and change it from the student's workpage in Moodle. Everywhere I have embedded this widget, it has automatically updated. What a worksaver!!!
I'm thinking that I will anchor the activity by asking students "Are Wildfires Getting Worse?" fully knowing that there is an avalance of evidence that says "yes". I still think I need an article from the other side of this issue....if you know of one, please leave me a comment and I'd really appreciate it.
What do you think of using something MentorMob to spice up multiple sources....there's nothing magical about the articles...but is this packaging of the resources going to boost student engagement?