Title: "Our Local Trees"

Class Group: 6th Class

Age group: 11-12 years

Subject Area: Science

Topic Area: Identification, observation and recording of local trees.

Goals of the Project: Students will recognise and name local trees. Students will recognise and name parts of these trees and their function Students will observe and record changes in the trees during the course of the school year.

Curriculum Relevance: In producing a software product to be used by 2nd-6th class students as a teaching aid the 6th class students will first gain a thorough knowledge of the curriculum content in this area for their own programme. They will then be able to select suitable material from their research and present this material in a manner appropriate for 2nd - 6th Class

Display: The finished product will be available as a learning aid for the relevant classes on the school server. Charts relevant to the project will be displayed on the school corridors. A record template (copyable) will be available.

Use of Technology in Display: The authoring package Hyperstudio will be used to display the programme. Digital camera will be used to record observations. The Internet will be used to source appropriate gifs.

Prerequisite Learning: Background work on trees was required prior to the commencement of the project. Skills in using the digital camera, Internet and Hyperstudio were developed.
Prerequisite Resources The availability of classroom textbooks, use of school and local library and an Internet connection formed the prerequisite resources. The hardware, software and peripherals necessary were a Pentium 2 computer, digital camera and the software package Hyperstudio.
Management of the project Work in the Classroom
Observe and record changes to trees in the local environment.
Background research on trees- general and specific.
Draft and edit information
Organising an appropriate format for the final draft.
Design a display format.
Produce the finished product

Organisation of the Class Division of Tasks
The class was divided into groups of three. The tasks were divided so that each group was involved in the six processes above.

Group Organisation Leaders were appointed for each group. Each group had varying ability levels. Within each group the least able member contributed first while the most capable contributed last.

Finding out Information Students worked in the classroom, library, Computer lab and in the local environment. Recording: In each group the information was listed, sorted and sequenced. Reviewing: The class teacher, to ensure accuracy and continuity of content between groups, assisted the pupils in reviewing the information.

Presenting the project: The software product was written in Hyperstudio. This involved planning the design layout with the students. The group leaders drafted storyboards. Discussion with the whole class and the teacher followed before all parties were satisfied.

Date of Completion: The project ran over a four month period from September to December '99 Completion: The project was complete when a useable software product was available on the school server.

Support Needed: The I.C.T teacher at the school assisted the class teacher with any difficulties.

Training of Teachers/Students: Teachers and students trained simultaneously in the use of the digital camera and the authoring package Hyperstudio. This was an extremely successful model of training as teachers were encouraged by the pupil's ease with the package. Evaluation Evidence of learning: 3rd & 4th class as part of their nature syllabus is using the Software produced.

Difficulties with the project: The project needed more time than anticipated. To complete the project by the target date it was necessary to use the computer room during lunchtime.

Relevance to the Curriculum: It met English (drafting, editing and summarising); Science (researching, deciding on appropriate content, observing and recording); I.C.T. (use of a multimedia authoring package, digital camera and Internet) and Art (graphics) objectives.

Possibility for improvement: Necessity to look at the syllabus and examine ways of improving its flexibility. The school plan needs this flexibility to allow teachers to re-structure the class curriculum to meet the needs of project work.

Teacher lessons: The teacher noted the enjoyment and satisfaction of the pupils in undertaking and completing a project where they were given considerable control of the processes and outcomes. Producing a resource for younger students enhanced the self -esteem of those involved.

Holy Family Senior School
SIP 058
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