New School for "Small Town"
Research Adventure - Naming an Elementary School
| Question and Task | The
Process | Resources | Conclusion
| Dictionary |Teacher
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It is the year 2030, and you
and your teammates are members of the Small Town, USA School Board. Because
of a recent population increase, Small Town's schools are overcrowded.
In order to alleviate the overcrowding, the Town Council has given the
School Board money to build a new elementary school. But there is
a condition. The new school must be named after an African American - This
is a "first" in Small Town. No other school in the town is
named after an African-American. After much discussion, research,
and squabbling, the School Board agrees that the school should be named
after one of the five candidates pictured above. Additionally, the
School Board decides that the candidate selected must possess certain personal
qualities. More about that in "Step 3" below.
& Task return
You may not recognize the five
Americans pictured above, but in their time they were quite important,
each in a unique way. In this Web Quest it will be your job to name
a new elementary school after one of them . This sounds simple, but
as you will see, it may not be. You will have to come up with
a fair way to compare the five candidates. What things about them
do you need to know? What qualities to do want to see in the person
selected? In this assignment you will be investigating the lives of the
five candidates and determining which of them most deserves to have a school
named in his/her honor. After which candidate
will you name the new school ?
and Resources return
Do some background research: Use the sites that follow to
get some perspective. In these sites you will find information on
the history of the black race in America, a newspaper article about a town
that doesn't like the name of a certain school, and information on how
Montgomery County Public Schools names its schools.
site will give you an in-depth look at the history of African Americans.
Good background information for you.
site shows a newspaper article about people who don't want their
school named after a famous African American-Martin Luther King, Jr.
School Naming Policy
is a link to MCPS's school naming policy.
Gather Information: The people pictured above (L to R) are
Rudolph, and Malcolm
X. (These links may require a username and password; if so, see
your teacher). They are all famous Americans, and each has overcome
many obstacles to attain his/her place in history. Divide your team
up and assign each member the job of learning about one or two of these
famous people. Use the links above and those in Step 3 to gather
information. Of course, you may use any of the print material in
the media center to augment your research. Other good sources for
research are World
Book Online, SIRS
Discoverer, Grolier Online, and
(These links may require a username and password; if so, see your teacher).
3 Make Your Comparisons:
As you read about these people, Ask yourself
some questions about each. Some questions you may want to consider
appear on a matrix
that has been prepared for you. Feel free to print out and use the
matrix as it appears, change it to suit your needs, or create your own.
Score each candidate in each category and tally the results. This
may give you the winner, and it may not. You may have disagreements
with others in your group. If so, you will have to come up with an
additional process to reach a decision. Seek advice if you need it.
You may want to seek more information on the candidates. If you do,
use print materials, teachers, friends and family, and the sites below
Report your Decision: In many ways this is the most important
part of your job. In this step you must report back to the City Council
on your decision. You will have to convince them that you have made
the right choice. You will report to the council (your classmates)
via a stand-up presentation. Your presentation must include visuals
in the form of paper-based or electronic materials. See the presentation
for details. As you create your presentation, use the rubric as a
guide. You may want to use an organizer
to help you compare the five candidates in your presentation.
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you reach this point, you and your teammates will have helped name a new
elementary school after one of five important African Americans.
You came up with a fair way to compare the five candidates. You worked
as a team and decided what you needed to know about the candidates and
the qualities each possessed. Finally, you have learned much
about some important Americans - people you may not have known much about
before you started.
which candidate did you name Small Town's new school ?
Michael Tony, Division of Technology
Training - Montgomery County Public Schools
Last updated January, 2002