From the Archives: Mighty Minerals

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amethystCollaborate with your eighth grade science teacher and help your students discover their creative side with this lesson plan developed by Paula Trapani-Wiener. Students can learn all about minerals and then create an original cartoon character based on their favorite mineral.

The editors at School Library Connection/reVIEWS+ recommend the following print and digital resources for integration with this lesson. Subscribers can access reviews on our website via the hyperlinks.

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Library Media Skills Objectives:
The student will use books, encyclopedias, websites, and online databases to gather information about a mineral of their choice for the creation of an original “Mighty Mineral” cartoon.

AASL Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning:
The student who is information literate:

  • Accesses information efficiently and effectively.
  • Evaluates information critically and competently.
  • Uses information accurately and creatively.
  • The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology.

Curriculum (subject area) Objectives:
This activity may follow science lessons that provide students with background knowledge of minerals.
Grade Level: 8

Instructional Roles:
Prior to the work in the library media center, the science teacher introduces the topic of minerals in class and coordinates the research activity with the library media specialist. The library media specialist provides instruction in note-taking and research using both print and electronic sources.

Activity and Procedures for Completion:
Using a PowerPoint presentation, the library media specialist introduces the lesson by displaying photographs of various minerals and asking students to explain and/or guess their descriptions and potential uses.

The library media specialist outlines the project requirements and models the research process by using an unassigned mineral. Search techniques and available print and online resources are presented (previewed websites are posted on the library website as well as online databases). Strategies are presented for paraphrasing and summarizing facts to record notes on the graphic organizer. Finally, the library media specialist displays a model “Mighty Mineral” poster that the students may use as a guide. The finished product must be an original drawing and must reflect the actual properties and uses of the mineral. (See rubric below for evaluation categories.)

During the remaining sessions in the library media center, students conduct their research by using the blank graphic organizer. Once the note-taking is complete, students begin designing an original cartoon character based on their minerals. Both the library media specialist and the science teacher are available to offer assistance as needed.

Evaluation:
The final project will be evaluated according to a rubric. (See table below).

Follow-Up:
Mineral depictions can be shared in an oral presentation or as a comic strip. Students may also scan their original drawings into a PowerPoint presentation, web page, or a brochure. These collections of original cartoons can then be presented to the class or to parents at Parent-Teacher conferences.

Evaluation Rubric 1

 

1 mineralsPaula Trapani-Wiener served as the library media specialist at Lawrence Road Middle School, Uniondale School District, Long Island, NY.

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