Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wiki Ideas

I need your help! I want to generate a list of topics about which 7th grade would use to develop wikis. For example, the Civil War, cell division, solving for the variable, King Solomon, weird things like this. We want to apply the wiki skills we have learned to help us all study other courses better. I just need topics from Science, History, Bible, & Math that they will cover this spring (Jan. - May). Comment here with ideas, email me, or Meebo me.

1 comment:

Ed Warkentin said...

I have been using wikis for about a year now (with 6th graders). Here are some of my favorite ideas. (Not that I’ve been able to successfully implement them all yet):

A glossary of vocabulary words that can be categorized, or just put all together. My current sense is that categorizing is better - puts things in context. However, having a section for words that students encounter on their own in their self-chosen books should exist. I’ve had a real hard time getting students to use this. Perhaps because of lack of internet access at home…

Similar to what you’ve described - I’ve been jigsaw-ing some of the topics that we’re studying. 1. Assign sub-topic to student or small group. 2. Require them to type the written portion of their project on the wiki.
This can be for whatever topic you’re studying.

Vocabulary for topic - on the fly:
Sometimes, I have copies of a form ready to hand out - In the middle of a lesson, I’ll be teaching a certain word (parallel, Israelite, food web, or whatever) and I’ll put the form on a random, or not-so-random, student’s desk, and ask them to include on our wiki:
definition (at least 1)
sentence (at least 1)
part of speech
the source of their information (if applicable)
their first name (so I can give them credit)

Finally, one last idea (may be more appropriate for younger grades, though):
1. Write a few story starters.
2. Make a new (numbered) wiki page with each of those story starters.
3. Repeat the story starters & pages enough times so that there is a wiki page for each student.
4. Then have everyone get on the wiki, and “edit” their page (the one with their class number). They will add to the story at this point.
5. At the end of 20 minutes or so, everyone clicks, “Save”, and goes to the next page (different story starter, and with one other student’s work added)
6. After another time period, repeat Step 5. Then they will see a 3rd story starter, with 2 students’ work added.
You get the idea.

I suppose this could work for persuasive essays, too. One page for each of several Theses. Students log on (”Edit”) and add a supporting point, or a counter-argument. They would have to know how to deal with the error message that comes up that tells them that someone else is editing that page. Possibly not a whole-class-at-the-same-time activity.

Thanks for asking about this. Writing this for you has encouraged me to work harder at some of these ideas, or to implement some I haven’t actually tried yet…