Here is an outline that I have created for the use of a wiki within the classroom. I have not been able to implement this, but hopefully one day I may get the chance.
Key Question- "How does recycling save our environment?"
Grade: Year 5
Unit Length: 5 weeks
Science Essential Learnings
Science can help make natural, social and built environments sustainable and may influence personal human activities.
English Essential Learnings
The purpose of writing and designing includes entertaining, informing and describing.
The intended outcomes (derived from these Essential Learnings) are:
- Students will understand the impact that recycling has upon the environment
- Students will understand what is required within the recycling process
- Students will understand the elements associated with a wiki
- Students will create and edit a wiki
- Students will write and present an oral presentation about recycling using the wiki as an aide
- Students will prepare a wiki for publishing
In teams, students will work collaboratively and populate a class wiki, which will form the basis of a presentation in their local community about recycling. The students will also send their information into Wikipedia for verification to be published on that site.
Week One: Students are hooked into the unit by visiting the recycling centre. They are informed about the amount of rubbish that is placed into landfill that should be placed in recycling. On the wiki, they will post pictures and comments of their visit to the recycling centre. Students are able to add and edit comments where appropriate.
Week Two: Students investigate how to recycle. The Learning Manager will place links on the wiki for students to visit that will assist them in finding information about recycling. Students will view these clips and read necessary material and comment on their learning on the wiki. Within their groups, they will research recycling and place information that they find on the class wiki site. The Learning Manager will monitor the use of this wiki and ensure that all students’ workload is the same.
Week Three: Students will investigate current recycling measures within the community and identify ways that these can be improved. Students will post their thoughts and ideas to the wiki. They will also begin to identify ways that they can create an effective presentation.
Week Four: Students will begin to use the information from their wiki and use it to create their presentation. Students investigate other wikis to analyse their information and sources to ensure their classroom wiki is accurate and succinct.
Week Five: Students will finish writing their oral presentation, using the information gained from the wiki. They will give their oral presentation to the class as well as an information afternoon at the local community centre. They will use their wiki as an aide to their presentation. After the presentations, students will reflect upon their new understandings. With the Learning Manager’s assistance, students will submit their completed wiki to Wikipedia for verification before publishing.
This unit plan could also be designed to fit the Learning Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). This could be outlined as follows:
Relate – students have identified a real world, authentic task in which they need to find a solution.
Create – students must design an effective oral presentation, using a wiki created collaboratively with peers about recycling.
Donate – students conduct their oral presentation at their local community centre. Students also submit their wiki to Wikipedia for verification before publishing.
I hope that this provides a general overview of how to effectively use a wiki within classroom instruction.
Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory:. Retrieved July 10, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm