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"Me" Resource

Subjects

  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Geography
  • Library Skills - Research Skills

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
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Brief Description

Students create “Me” entries for a dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, newspaper…

Objectives

Students will
  • Create up to six entries that describe themselves in different formats. (Sample formats: a dictionary, an encyclopedia, an atlas entry, a magazine article, a newspaper article, and a table of contents)
  • Learn about valuable research resources (dictionary, encyclopedia...)

Keywords

library skills, research, dictionary, encyclopedia, atlas, maps, magazine, newspaper, table of contents, biography.

Materials Needed

  • a dictionary
  • a thesaurus
  • an atlas
  • an encyclopedia biography
  • a newspaper (local newspaper is fine)
  • a magazine (for example, Sports Illustrated, People, Newsweek, National Geographic)
  • a biography with a table of contents that lists chapters/chapter titles in the life of the person
In addition:
  • Internet access (optional)

The Lesson

In this project, students learn about some of the research resources they will use throughout the year. They will mimic the formats and style of those resources as they create entries about themselves. This project can be completed in full (it will take about 4 to 6 class periods) or you might choose to do just one or two elements of the project.

Alternative: Students might select from the list the three formats they will use in the putting together a "Me Resource."

Begin by introducing students to the main idea of the lesson: the lesson offers an introduction to some common research/writing resources, including a

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Atlas
  • Encyclopedia
  • Newspaper
  • Magazine
  • Table of Contents

Instead of using the resources in a research project, students will mimic the style of those resources as they create biographical entries about themselves. (There is nothing to research in this activity; the students are their own research resources!)

Review with the students the seven resources they are going to be using. [See bulleted list above.] Arrange students into seven groups and distribute one resource to a table. Give students a chance to familiarize themselves with the resource and then exchange resources with another group; all groups should spend a few minutes exploring each resource.

Next, discuss one resource at a time. Familiarize students with the format of each resource and the format that each of the "me" biographical resources they create will take:

  • The students' dictionary entries will list the student's name in bold type (where the dictionary word entry would usually appear) then provide several numbered statements/facts that "define" the student. Students might also look up the origin of their name on the Web (BabyNames.com) or in a book. They might include that as part of their dictionary entry. For example: Julie -- Latin, young soft-haired one.
  • The thesaurus entry will list the student's name in bold type (where the thesaurus word entry would usually appear) then provide a list of key words that "mean"/are synonymous with themselves.
  • The encyclopedia entry will provide the student's name, date of birth, where they were born, and some bulleted facts about themselves.
  • The atlas entry will list a specific location and provide a map and longitude/latitude reference points for that location. Students might choose to highlight the place they were born or a place that they think they would like to live when they move out on their own. (Possible Internet resource: Latitude and Longitude Look-Up)
  • The magazine article will include a headline, photo, and an article about an important event in the student's life. That event might be an important event from the past or an event they would like to see happen in the future.
  • The newspaper article includes a headline, photo, and an article about a current event in their lives. The article should appear in the double-column (or wider) format that is typical of newspaper articles.
  • The table of contents page will list "chapter titles" that they would include if they were writing an autobiography. Their table of contents should include at least five chapter titles.

Once students have created the pages for the "Me Resource," they will form them into a book and create a cover and an overall Table of Contents page.

The cover of the students' books might include a self-portrait or an image they might like to see on an actual biography of themselves. Encourage the use of extra touches such as pictures, color, and designs that will make their projects appeal to readers.

Assessment

You might assess student projects by assigning a point value to each entry/resource students create or by creating a rubric that assigns values such as the following:
  • Accuracy of Sources (following instructions and formats) -- 30 points
  • Creativity (written) -- 30 points
  • Spelling -- 20 points
  • Creativity (design) -- 20 pts

Submitted By

Julianne Z. Cugini, St. Louise de Marillac School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


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Copyright © 2009 Education World

Originally published 08/27/2004
Last updated 05/28/2009