Project Member

Valerie Drummond - Future School Librarian - MLS student at University of Maryland College Park


The Discover Me Project will be assigned in the beginning of the Fall quarter (start of the year) to 8th Grade Social Studies classes to assess their education and knowledge of social studies education. The project will take approximately three weeks to complete. The Discover Me Project is for youth (aka military-brats) from U.S military families who have lived in multiple places and attended various schools. The Discover Me Project will focus on the student's travels outside of the United States or within its borders of different states. Through a variety of multimedia presentations and assignments students will present cultural and personal information to the class about their favorite places they have discovered and what they have learned about themselves from their time there. The lessons will focus on the impact of culture, history and other social influences that the students have encountered. Mainly this project will be one of cultural diffusion and increasing global awareness by illustrating the two themes using media and technology skills.

The Topic & Standards

The topic for the Discover Me Project are for 8th graders to convey and exchange their experiences through the use of media and technology. The three lessons integrate online and print resources, organization and analyzation of information, and self-expression through creativity in written and digital forms. The audience are 8th graders from U.S. military families who have lived in multiple places and experienced various school and learning environments.

The AASL's standards are integrated into each lesson plan and culminate in the final lesson and assignment of creating a glog. The three lessons build a base of knowledge and skills in understanding, using and citing properly various resources. The lessons also entail that the student will be thinking critically in stages as the assignments progress. Students, with successful completion of the Discover Me Project, will be responsible users and understand technology and media literacies and copyright issues. They will increase their research, gathering information skills and come to better know themselves and classmates in the process of the project to become effect users of the 21st century.

The following American Association of School (AASL) Standards for the 21st Century will be implemented into the three lessons and assignments for the students:

Standard 1
Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.
1.1.2 Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge
1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g. textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.
1.1.8 Demonstrate mastery of technology tools for accessing information and pursing inquiry.
1.2.2 Demonstrate confidence and self-direction by making independent choices in the selection of resources and information.
1.2.3 Demonstrate creativity by using multiple resources and formats.
1.3.1 Respect copyright/intellectual property rights of creators and producers.
1.3.3 Follow ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information.
1.3.4 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within the learning community.
1.3.5 Use information technology responsibly.
Self-Assessment Strategies
1.4.1 Use interaction with and feedback from teachers and peers to guide own inquiry process.
1.4.3 Monitor gathered information, and assess gaps or weaknesses.
1.4.4 Seek appropriate help when it is needed.

Standard 4
Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.
4.1.1 Read, view, and listen for pleasure and personal growth.
4.1.2 Read widely and fluently to make connections with self, the world, and previous reading.
4.1.5 Connect ideas to own interests and previous knowledge and experience.
4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.
4.1.8 Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning.
4.2.1 Display curiosity by pursuing interests through multiple resources.
4.2.4 Show an appreciation for literature by electing to read for pleasure and expressing an interest in various literary genres.
4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas both electronically and in person.
4.3.2 Recognize that resources are created for a variety of purposes.
4.3.3 Seek opportunities for pursuing personal and aesthetic growth.
4.3.4 Practice safe and ethical behaviors in personal electronic communication and interaction.
Self-Assessment Strategies
4.4.1 Identify own areas of interest.
4.4.4 Interpret new information based on cultural and social context.

The Setting and Context

Definitions used to describe the setting and context cited from:
American Association of School Librarians. (2009). Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Meida Programs. Chicago: AASL.
  • Media Literacy: Ability to "access, analyze, evaluate and create messages in variety of forms - from print to video to Internet. Media literacy builds and understanding of the role of media in society ans well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy."
  • Technology Literacy: Ability to responsibly use appropriate technology to communicate, solve problems, and access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information to improve learing in all subject areas and to acquire lifelong knowledge and skills in the twenty-first century.
The Setting
(Ideally, the public middle school will be located near the a military base and will be an exclusive school for the children of military personnel to attend). For example, near Ft. Meade in Anne Arundel County, MD)
The socioeconomic and ethnically diverse middle school will comprise of students mainly from military traveling families attending a neighboring school with a traditional school library. Most of the students are from a low and middle socieconomic status as officers families may attend private schools in a different school district. The school library will have a certified school librarian who likes to implement and collaborate with teachers to incorporate media and technology literacies into the school curriculum. This matters to the lesson because it will help introduce the students of military families and local students to each other's communities and local/ world culture through the use of technology. Technology to be implemented into the lesson will help encourage students to participate in the lesson and increase their media and technology literacies.
Majority of the 8th grade students come from a low and middle socioeconomic class of United States military personnel. The second most largest percentage of the student body will be local Maryland students attending the school close to the military base. Their learning needs will be mixed with some students who are advanced in some areas and others who have not encountered certain materials. Their learning and knowledge are filled with gaps of information and lessons they may have missed from moving from place to place with their families and attending various schools. Students may also speak a different language better than English and that will be challenge to the school librarian and social studies teacher to make sure that the student will be able to complete the lesson and to provide proper scaffolding and modeling specific to their leading needs and reading levels of the English language.
The lesson will be co-taught and co-planned between the school librarian and social studies teacher. The challenges to this scenario will be in finding time in planning the lesson, creating objectives and concise lessons to impart cultural apsects to students, making sure the proper scaffolding is available to all students who need it, and developing contingencies in case the technology is not available. Some of the technology contingencies will be creating a collage from various magazines in replace of creating an online poster with Glogster or making a short video using the library's video camera. Other challenges to the Discover Me project will be incorporating time for the students to learn the programs and also to conduct the reasearch and notetaking skills necessary to complete the project.
Examples to Overcome Some Specific Challenges:
1. Finding time in planning the lesson, creating objectives and concise lesson plan: Schedule time with social studies department chairman and teachers. Meet and plan before, after and during school hours. Setup scheduling with Google Docs if need be to communicate online and everyone has access to materials and input used. Provide my contact information and available to answering questions and meeting at specific times or throughout the day.
2. Students will different language abilities: Will have a multiple levels of English instructions of the project that will can be adapted to fit the students abilities with the English speaking and reading levels. Will also work with language arts teachers with other languages if needed to have something in the student's native language if at all possible.
3. Students to learn note-taking skills and specific computer programs to complete the project: Students will be introduced/re-introduced to a graphic organizer/outline/ and/or checklist of the project requirements and the questions they should be taking notes on to answer. Will introduce Noodles and how to cite different sources. In introducing computer programs to the students will have an introduction to the program with a You-Tube video assisting in demonstrating the uses to the students and teacher. For example, the final project, the students will be using Glogster and as the school librarian I will provide the instruction on how to use Glogster to the students and the teacher about the benefits and some of the negatives of using Glogster. Will have a final example of how the final Discover Me Project will look like and why.
4. Planning for power outages and Internet access malfunction: Students will have the option of creating a collage from various pictures from various magazines or for the more artistic students to create a poster with illustrations to complete the final project. Students will also have access to the Glogster(and other multi-media websites) from outside the school library at home or afterschool. In addition, students can have access to using a video camera and be able to create a short video presenting an aspect of the Discover Me Project instead of creating a short video using Animoto.
School Library's References and Resources
The references and resources that the school library will have a desktop computer lab of for students to use to complete their technology projects. There will also be a projector to display their projects via the social studies labtop computer and for them to present them to the class in the computer lab or classroom. They students will have access to online databases and a pathfinder and/ or pre-selected sources for them to utilize. Lessons on using the different technology software will be conducted by the school librarian. The social studies teacher will be on hand to assist students in using the various products once introduced and instructed to them by the school librarian. The other resources and references in the school library's collection consist of the following: online and subscription databases, print sources (encyclopedias, almanacs, magazines, fiction and nonfiction books, audio books (play-aways), ebooks and periodicals.

The Materials and Technology Tools You will Need

The Discover Me Project will utilize the online database (ex: Britannica, World Book), print sources (ex: encyclopedias, biographies) specific websites (CIA World Factbook) some audio/visual images and photos, (provided by websites and other databases) and multi-media websites/software (Glogster/Animoto). The following materials are relevant for the learning the topic and bolster the skills that they will learn in media and technology literacies.
Materials List Needed to Complete Assignments 1 - 3:
  • Pen or pencil
  • Notebook paper/paper to takes notes/citations
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Instructor's computer with projector
  • Websites:
- CIA World Factbook ( A website containing information on geography, history, statistics, people and other information on a country.- Glogster ( Creates unique digital posters- YouTube video Glogster Tutorial ( A 90 second visual with music tutorial on creating a glog with Glogster. - Creative Commons ( A search engine of images licensed for remixing and has permission of sources to use for assignments. - Noodles Tools (__http://www.noodletools.com__/) A website that helps cite information in different styles.
  • Databases: World Book, Britannica
  • Discover Me Essay Assignment 1
  • Discover Me Video Assignment 2
  • Discover Me Glog Assignment 3

If technology fails, Materials Needed:
  • Print resources: Encyclopedia, periodicals, almanacs, etc.
  • Magazines with images to make collages (examples, National Geographic or Life)
  • Video camera to make a short video
  • Poster board, art supplies (glue sticks, colored pencils, paint, markers, etc)

The Implementation & Assignments

The Discover Project will take approximately three weeks to complete. The lessons will be implemented by the students creating short assignments to a final project involving compounding skills from all three lessons.
Note: The Assignment Sheets have answering lines to guide the students writing but does not limit them from taking further notes using additional sheets/other paper to complete the assignments. This will be explained upon handing out the Assignment Sheets by social studies teacher and school librarian.
Assignment 1
The first assignment will be an essay on a student's favorite place they have visited and explain the country's cultural aspects they have experienced. Lesson one will be assess for grammer, spelling and punctation of the essay and correct citations. There will be questions that the each student will need to answer in the essay and the depth of their answers will be assess on how well they answer the questions. For example, does the student give three reasons/examples why they liked the country they chose to write about. Is the essay the appropriate length??
Assignment 2
The second assignment will entail students creating a short, 30 second digital video of their cultural experiences using visualization and short text to convey their thoughts and creativity by using the essay from lesson one. Lesson two will be assess with the use of images. See Assignment 2 for further assessment items.
Assignment 3
The third assignment will entail students to create a glog using their information and images from Assignment 1 and Assignment 2. They will have to conduct further research to answer four cultural aspects of a country. The questions range in the following areas of economic, social, geographical and political information. Lesson three will be assess for use of images, text, correct citations and organization of the glog. See Assignment 3 for further assessment items.
The final assignment will have students concentrate on one particular country and provide more in-depth information on the country's modern culture and history.

The Lessons

  • Lesson 1: Students will write a 3 page, double essay about their favorite country and their cultural experiences in specific country.
Media: Websites and subscription databases in the media center
  • Lesson 2: Students will create a 30 second digital video of describing their the favorite country and cultural experiences using
information from Assignment 1.
Technology: Animoto website
  • Lesson 3: Students will create a glog by using images, graphics, text and further research country's history in four areas:
social, geographical, economic and political using information from Assignments 1 and 2.
Technology: Glogster website
Media: Websites and subscription databases in the media center