This is a survey project intended to be used with a group of accelerated students at the third grade level. The project involves the students generating a survey question which can be asked to the entire population of our school, approximately 250 students. The aim of this project is to not only teach students how to conduct a survey on a large scale, but more importantly, how to use technology to transform data from 'just numbers' into something better. The students are in groups of four people, and they brainstorm several potential questions. The class then decides which question they want to use. Each group uses the same question so we can have a large sample, which in turn generates a more accurate picture of the findings. In all research, the researchers need permission to conduct their work. For this reason, the students are responsible for getting permission from the principal and teachers to do their research. They do this by writing persuasive letters, a skill emphasized in the fifth grade curriculum.
The students then generate the survey instrument. The students will give the survey to each student of our school. Each group is responsible for gathering the data from a few classrooms. Once the survey has been given, the kids have to organize their data. This is where technology is utilized. Because it is important for students to use technology in real life, background knowledge of the software and hardware available to use in the building is established early in the course. After the data has been collected, the students transform the data using skills they have learned to create a final project. This presentation may come in the form of a slide show or a speech accompanied by a poster. In addition, the students are required to produce a simple web page of their findings.
At the end of the project the students will be assessed in several ways. I plan on using a rubric to evaluate their projects. A modified version of this rubric is also completed by the students as a self assessment.
Click here to see examples of student work.
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