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About this Project



As part of community outreach, one of the School of Information's Cultural Heritage Initiative for Community Outreach (CHICO) team members developed a project with a sixth-grade class in a middle school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that used the creation of the "Animals!" exhibition as a backdrop. The class was also designed under the auspices of an SI class on "Digital Resources for K-12 Environments."

Sixth-grade students from different classes were brought together to: (1) learn problem-solving and information-seeking skills; (2) do simple research about the role of animals in the ancient world; (3) learn something about how exhibitions are created; and (4) create an artifact of their own. The focus was very "hands-on" whether their hands where on a keyboard or molding clay.

The class met for one session once a week for five weeks. The class culminated with a trip to the Kelsey Museum so that the sixth graders could see the exhibition that had been created by the students at the University of Michigan. The sixth-grade students felt invested in the exhibition since, in a sense, they had been working alongside the development of the exhibition while in their own classroom. They also knew that their work would be represented on the website (this one!) that would be created around the exhibition. One of the students brought the cat figurine she had sculpted on the trip.

Samples of the activities undertaken by the class are included here. These outlines show ways to combine the teaching of computer skills, problem solving approaches, and information-seeking strategies with interesting subject matter. The lessons shown here are mere skeletons of the work that was done in the classroom. The classroom sessions were highly interactive, student-to-student and student-to-instructor, and centered on the use of stories and anecdotes to draw forth the lesson content. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the lesson plans.

The second lesson (PDF, 19.7K) centered on location of, and access to, information.
The fourth lesson (PDF, 15K) centered on synthesis, putting it all together, creating something new from the information acquired.
The fifth lesson (PDF, 14.6K) centered on a thinking, writing, and collaborative exercise, and was designed to evaluate whether the students had integrated the ideas from the class into their thinking.
The "Creating a Label" (PDF, 9.71K) assignment was handed out at the end of the fourth class, but was continued in class during the next session.


Afro-turtle by Ben S.
Greyhound by Victoria
Cat by Christina
Fish coin by Kandace
Cobra by Michael
Cat by Eve
Eagle coin by Ben
Cat by Nick
Octopus coin by Miriam

Click here to see the artists that created the pieces pictured above.

Web site created by CHICO ,
which is based at the
University of Michigan,
School of Information