This past Wednesday, however, they did a guided research assignment to identify and describe technological advances made in Ancient China. Students were provided a directions sheet, a graphic organizer (shout-out to Mr. Riemer at GMS for creating the documents used for this project!), and a list of recommended websites to begin their research.
Students were required to research ten technologies from Ancient China; specifically to find out their date of origin, original purpose, and impact on society. In addition, they had to keep track of what sources they used to find the information and were encouraged to evaluate their resources (i.e. not relying on Wikipedia for their answers).
As they conducted their research, students learned that sometimes the information doesn’t come to you in the ways you want or need it. For example, one student, while looking up the date of origin, found that block printing was invented during the Khan Dynasty, but Ms. Jenkins wanted an actual, approximate date as their answer. The student then had to research the Khan Dynasty to find the correct answer. What an awesome way to get students thinking deeper and beyond the questions being asked!
Students were engaged and on-task throughout the class period. Once their research is completed, they will be tasked with ranking the inventions, in order of importance, and justifying their selection in pairs.
With this activity, four of the technology strands were reached. Students were required to communicate and collaborate with one another and also to think critically about the impact that the technologies had on Ancient China. However, they were still allowed choice in the resources they used to get their information and answers. This is a great example of how to introduce your students to research on the web!