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hrivest test project

Project Overview Part 1: Define


Teacher(s) Name(s): Holly Rivest

Name of Project:

From a Kids Point of View Duration: 3 Weeks


SS Grade Level:4

Other subject areas to be included, if any:


Project Idea

Summary of the issue, challenge, investigation, scenario, or problem:

Students in fourth grade usually believe that you have to be a "grown up" to make a difference in current issues going on in their world.  The idea of this project will be to help guide students to discover a variety of current public issues and help them realize that their opinions can make a difference if conveyed appropriately. 


Project in 3 parts:  1)A given problem; which is the best choice to make at the grocery store, paper or plastic?  Complete an online webquest in a small group where the position you need to defend is given to you. 2) Choose an area of interest to research and write a positon paper on.  In this phase, students will choose their position. 3)  In small groups where a position is agreed upon, decide how best to take action.  

Driving Questions

How do I make my opinion count or matter?


Sub Questions

What are some issues interesting to fourth graders?

Can fourth grader's have an opinion if they can't vote?

Are opinions always right or wrong?

How do I find information on an issue?

How can my voice be heard?

Why should an adult listen to a kid?

Why should I have or voice an opinion?

Will adults take my opinion seriously?

What if someone disagrees with me?

Should my opinion be everyone's opinion?



Content and Skills Standards to be addressed:

Social Studies

P3.3 Persuasive Communication About a Public Issue

Communicate a reasoned position on a public issue.

4 – P3.3.1 Compose a brief essay expressing a position on a public policy issue in the United States and justify the position with a reasoned argument.

P4.2 Citizen Involvement

Act constructively to further the public good.

4 – P4.2.1 Develop and implement an action plan and know how, when, and where to address or inform

others about a public issue.

4 – P4.2.2 Participate in projects to help or inform others.

Language Arts; Writing 

W.GN.04.03 write an informational comparative piece that demonstrates understanding of central and supporting ideas using an effective organizational pattern (e.g., compare/contrast) and informational text features.



    T+A E   T+A E

21st Century Skills

to be explicitly taught and assessed (T+A) or that will be encouraged (E) by projectwork, but not taught or assessed:

Collaboration   Other:    
Critical Thinking        


      Presentation Audience:
Culminating Products and Performances

Group:  1) Poster as result of "Paper or Plastic" webquest  

2) Share opinion on an issue with a group that thinks similarly to you in an agreed upon manner and convey this opinion or position to a voting member of society.    

Individual:   Write a position paper which examines two sides of a controversial issue. Experts:  


Part 2: Design 

"Grabber" to launch inquiry & generate interest:   As students enter the room I will ask each student, "Paper or Plastic?"  A pile of each will be next to me and I will give the student the bag of choice without answering any other questions.    Entry Documentpbl.docx   

Formative Assessments:

(Checkpoints during Project)

Quizzes/Tests   Practice Presentations  
research paper on chosen topic  Journal/Learning Log   Notes  
  Preliminary Plans/Outlines/Prototypes   Checklists  
  Rough Drafts Concept Maps  
  Online Tests/Exams   Other:  
multiple choice test on fact/opinion 

Summative Assessments:

(End of Project)


Written Product(s), with rubric:


Other Product(s) or Performance(s), with rubric:  
  Oral Presentation, with rubric   Peer Evaluation  
  Multiple Choice/Short Answer Test Self-Evaluation  
  Essay Test   Other:  
    Culminating poster from group webquest (rubric),  position paper draft and final (rubric)  MyRubric.xls   



(Individual, Group, and/or Whole Class) Journal/Learning Log   Focus Group  
Whole-Class discussion   Fishbowl Discussion  
Survey Other:  

Survey Monkey.com...

Resources Needed On-site people, facilities:  
Community resources:  


Project Teaching and Learning Guide

Project: Course/Semester:

Knowledge and Skills Needed by Students

to successfully complete culminating products and performances, and do well on summative assessments

Scaffolding/Materials/Lessons to be Provided

by the project teacher, other teachers, experts, mentors, community members--Describe the active teaching needed to support learning

How to use a graphic organizer to see how opinions change based on information.   -> Use the interactive white board to make a 5 column chart with the labels always paper, usually paper, undecided, usually plastic, always plastic. Students can put their name in the column they choose.  Read informational articles on both sides of the debate, allowing students to move their name in any column at any time.  Discuss how the chart changed based on information received.
Be exposed to ways that young people can make a difference for their own future.  -> Watch the video from "Kids Speak Up."  This is an example of how kids' views wer influencial in adult decision making on capitol hill. http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/advocacy/events/Kids-Speak-Up/ksu08-photos.cfm
  How to complete a webquest -> direct instruction in completing a webquest.  Some review of proper use of computers may need to be reviewed. Paper or plastic webquest:  http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/education/projects/webquests/paper/index.html 
  Understand the difference between facts and opinions -> read and compare two informational articles, one that is fact filled and one that is an opinion.  play the online game called "fact or opinion" from PBS 


  write an informational paper clearly stating two sides of an issue -> read and analyze 3 or 4 articles of interest which clearly outlines different sides of an issue.  Brainstorm topics that have two sides of an issue.  Possibilities include; Should the state bird for Michigan be changed? Should non-carbonated beverage cans be subject to a deposit? Should our lunchroom be using real silverware instead of plastic? Should students be allowed to wear hats in school?  Students will be involved in creating the  grading rubric.  An outline of structure for paper will also be given.Position Paper Format.doc 
  Understand the value of surveys -> how to navigate "Survey Monkey" and analyze the results of the survey.  Survey will be set up based on topics chosen to study.  This will be used as a tool to help find classmates who have similar opinions on the chosen topics.  Topics ideally will have 3 or 4 students in a group.  Another survey will be used at the end of the project to evaluate the effectiveness of the project as a whole. 
  How to make your opinion matter -> depending on the topics chosen, small groups can brainstorm ways to communicate their position.  Possibilities include posters, video commercials, letters to officials.  


Project Calendar (Project should be 1 or more weeks)

Project Start Date:


Intro (grabber)

Paper or plastic? Give bag of choice.  Put post it on 5 column chart.  Read information on each choice and move post it as opinion changes.

Play "Fact or Opinion" game online to review the difference.  Be sure facts/opinions are distinguished between in articles read.  Discuss bag choice and pros/cons of each.  Discuss why people make the choices they do.  Begin Webquest "paper or plastic?"  Continue Webquest 

Continue Webquest

Students collaboratively create poster rubric. 

Complete Poster in groups of 3 to encourage or inform grocery store patrons regarding their choice of bag. 
Two Watch video "Kids Speak Up" explore possible topics interesting to students.   Choose a topic to research and begin writing.  Share grading rubric. draft paper  draft paper and use the author's chair to share ideas or voice concerns, or ask questions to peers.  final draft 
Three After topics have been shared, students will choose a topic to explore further in a small group.  Use Survey Monkey to poll interests.  brainstorm ideas for taking actions Plan action  Plan action  Share action with voting member of society. 
Four Evaluate success of project using "Survey Monkey"        



Comments (3)

John McCarthy said

at 8:45 pm on Aug 10, 2009

Interesting project focus. 4th grade is an age where they seek more control of their environment and want to be respected for contributions. Once the assessment section is composed I'll have more clarity as to how the students' experience will be complete.

I wonder about the driving question in regards to "4th Grader" from: "Does a fourth grader's opinion count or matter?" This is a yes or no answer, unless "Explain" is added, which I think you were implying. Only for consideration, how about: "How can I make my opinion count or matter?"

jfry@novi.k12.mi.us said

at 1:36 pm on Aug 27, 2009

Looks very interesting, I taught 4th grade for alot of years and I would think this will be of great interest to them. I would agree with John that it might be more of a How can I instead or how does my opinion instead of specifically 4th grader.
Looks good, I like the project and I would think many other teachers will also. I would also in the future as you get through this one time and then as you do it again next year to expand some of the technology tools that could be used by students to present their infomation and opinions and how this can be published and shared.
I would not push alot of new technology the first time through.

hrivest said

at 12:15 pm on Sep 27, 2009

Thank you. I agree. Just getting through the webquest is going to be a task (but a fun one!).

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