Thursday, October 06, 2011

Social studies project possibility: being aware of the Red River's treacherous sands

Trees with a view by mama2mice
Trees with a view, a photo by mama2mice on Flickr.

This is an example of how to create a basic social studies project (remember, it can be a group project with up to 3 members) based on a local tragedy -

In 2010, teens from 2 families drowned in the Red River while trying to save each other. Six young people were lost to a sinkhole at the edge of the river.

Projects begin with a question, such as:

In 2010, six teens drowned in the Red River. How much can the city of Shreveport do to safeguard people using the waters of the Red River for recreation?

Hypothesis -
The city may have increased efforts to teach teens to swim. Yet the city can do more in regards education on the hazards associated with playing in the Red River.

Gathering of evidence -
Calling or emailing city officials with questions about city efforts in regards swim lessons and education.
- Mayor
- Chief of Police
- Chief of Fire/Rescue
- Media / reporters or editors
- River experts from LSUS and other agencies.
- Web search for articles associated with changes following the drownings.

Conclusion -
Based on the quotes and additional materials collected, would you say the city is making effective efforts?

Bibliography -
A listing of names of interviewees and articles read.

The 20 pt Social Studies project, due Nov 30:

Social Studies Fair Project -
* submitted via image-based report, Powerpoint-style.
* purpose is to show fluency with the Scientific Method.
* student articulates . . .
- social problem
- hypothesis for solution to problem
- review of literature (find sources, read the articles and choose the part(s) that are relevant to your paper) that addresses the problem. The list of all articles read becomes your bibliography.
- conclusion drawn from literature review.
- bibliography.
- abstract, or half-page summary of entire project.improvement.
- grammar, spelling and construction.
- student need not build traditional backboard display unless teacher and student agree on an entry into the social studies fair.
- students may work solo, in a duo or a 3-person team. And, yes, there will be bonus points for those who can devise an international team