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Can We Fix It? - 2016
Transcript of Can We Fix It? - 2016
What's the point of Social Studies?
"The social sciences learning area is about how societies work and how people can participate as critical, active, informed, and responsible citizens."
New Zealand Curriculum
To teach you how to be informed, critical and active we have taught the skills of gathering information, looking at different points of view, and thinking about actions people take. In addition we have looked at big ideas like rights, government, globalisation, and sustainability.
In Term Four the content turns over to you. You will be assessed on how well you show that you are a "critical, active and informed participant" in your society.
We will briefly review the main skills (gathering information, etc), and then you will working on your own topic. You can work alone, in pairs or in a group of three. There will be final presentations in your class, semifinals, and then a final in the hall for the whole junior school to see.
There are two parts to this work. First you must become informed and think critically about the topic you have identified, and then you must be an active and responsible citizen. Once you have researched and thought about your topic what will you do about it?
This government department has identified 11 National Science Challenges facing Aotearoa in the years ahead. We are using these 11 challenges this term.
Even though these are called Science challenges most of them have really clear Social Studies in them. Anyway, in the work we do this term we would encourage you to think of links between subjects not just about Social Studies.
Your teacher will show you around the website for the 11 National Science Challenges
You will be assigned one of the 11 challenges to look at in a pair or small group. This is NOT the topic you have to do later, it is just a task for now.
You will look at the website for your topic and summarise it in the shared class slideshow.
You will present your slides to the class to explain your area.
Choosing a topic
The first thing I have to do is choose a topic. This needs to be
something that ticks me off or worries me about the world, or my community based on one of the 11 National Science Challenges.
In the past, really good actions or presentations have been done by people who really care about their topic. If you care about it you will probably do a good job.
You need to take time to narrow your topic down
The more specific your topic the easier it will be to manage
You will have to do some research to do this
You should be able to write your topic as a single question, and
List a few concepts that are related
What: We are going to see how to narrow down a topic for research
Why: Getting your topic right makes everything else a lot easier
How: We will look at an example about music
What kinds of things worry you or make you angry about the world at the moment?
Which one or two of these relates best to one of the science challenges?
Look at the objective for that challenge. Can you use all or some of that objective sentence to describe your topic?
Is your topic the right size? Is it way too big, or way too specific? Is there any information about this topic that is easily available?
You will have some time now to find all of these points:
My possible topic
Science challenge it relates to
Challenge objective adapted for my topic
Three possible sources of information on my topic.
Whenever we look at a topic in Social Studies we look at the key concepts that go with the topic. You also need to do this.
So let's brainstorm all the concepts that have come up this year (and the year before if you're in Year 10).
Now, go back to the two example topics you just wrote about... and think about what concepts might fit with this topic.
Let's say I am worried about polluted rivers in New Zealand. Probably this is the science challenge it fits with.
This is the objective for that challenge: "To enhance primary sector production and productivity while maintaining and improving our land and water quality for future generations." The highlighted bit seems to be related. Cutting down this objective to fit my topic it would read like this:
"My topic is about improving the water quality of NZ rivers and relates to the Science Challenge: Our Land and Water."
One of the key things you have to get right with your research question is to make it the right size. My topic might sound good but it's actually too large. Have a look at this link and tell me what the problem is:
It would be much less crazy to pick just one river. When you do this think of two things: is there a river I have a connection to, and is there a river that has been in the news because of water quality?
A quick search takes me to this:
If you scroll to the bottom you can find a list.
With this information I can now get my topic down to a size that I will be able to manage. Something like this:
"My topic is about improving the water quality of Lake Taupo and relates to the Science Challenge: Our Land and Water."
Limiting it to just one place means that I won't get overwhelmed with loads of information.
What are two points of view from individuals/groups related to
improving the water quality of Lake Taupo?
How has a group/individual taken actions to
improve the water quality of Lake Taupo
Now that I have a specific topic I can write out my questions. Everyone has the same questions with your topic added at the end like this:
What: We are going to practise identifying good sources
Why: You can't make a good presentation based on poor quality sources
How: We will evaluate some sources
Rate these topics out of three - which do you think is the best example of a topic (three stars), and which the worst (one star)? Why?
Over-fishing in oceans
Over-fishing in the Pacific
Over-fishing in the Hutt River
Now I have to find the answers to my questions by looking for sources.
Remember that you have to do a few things when getting your sources:
You have to get sources that answer one of both of your questions
You have to have three sources (more is ok)
You have to have at least one primary and one secondary source
There are two main things to consider when looking at a source:
Does it answer my question?
Is it a biased or unreliable source?
A source is no good to you if it answers your question but was written by someone who has no idea what they are talking about, or is being paid to say certain things (to advertise or sell a product for example). On the other hand it is no good getting a reliable source (someone who knows what they are talking about) but only getting information from it that doesn't answer your questions.
Make sure your questions are focused on solutions
Type the last part of the question into Google to get info
Look for sources that are reliable and answer your questions
What do these words mean?
You did this when you looked at cultural interaction or human rights
Look at Worksheet One, and carry out the tasks with a partner.
Perspectives & Actions
What is "point of view" again?
What does the person/group think about the issue I am researching?
(e.g. What do they think about improving the water quality in Lake Taupo?)
Why does this person think this? What is important to them? (Values)
Type your topic focus into Google and look for a major group doing work on your problem
Type in "critics of..." the major group to find another perspective
Remember to get the views, values and actions all at the same time, and to include facts, and quotes
What: We are going to look at annotating a source to answer our focus questions
Why: To refresh our annotation skills
How: We will look at an example about Lake Taupo
Now that I have found some information I have to annotate it to show where in the information my questions get answered
How has a group/individual taken social actions to respond to
improving water quality in Lake Taupo?
Read Worksheet Two and complete the annotation
What are two points of view from individuals/groups related to
improving the water quality of Lake Taupo?
When you look for values you will probably need to look at the background of the person or organisation speaking by researching them online.
If you are looking at the website for an organisation find a tab that talks about things like this: values, mission, beliefs, vision. This often tells you about the group's beliefs.
Using Google to do Research
What: We will look at how to use Google to research
Why: Google is the most common way to do research
How: We will try using Google to research Lake Taupo
With your partner do the first part of the Google doc.
Class discussion: what are the top three tips you would pass on from having done this task? Add them to your doc.
Now follow the link in your Google doc and do the second task.
Class discussion: what are the top three tops you would pass on having done this task?
If you are looking up a broad topic it is often better to look somewhere like Wikipedia first, but Wikipedia can be hard to use because: (a) New Zealand articles are often brief, and (b) the articles can be long and full of complicated language.
Remember that in the google search bar you can type: "define: [word]" and it will give you a definition.
You need to be aware that what you type into Google will alter what information you get back.
Now it's your turn. Time to start your own research. Your teacher has shared a template with you and will explain the deadline.
What - We are beginning our presentation / social action
Why - Don't ruin great research with a bad presentation
How - We will look at tips and examples
The worst thing I could do now is make a really bad presentation or an ineffective action out of all my hard work. I need to take a few steps to get this part right.
Here's some tips on what you shouldn't do:
Take FIVE mental notes on what to do in a good presentation while you watch this video:
What are all the possible ways that you can present information?
What does social action mean? What are different examples?
Start by identifying the key message of your presentation: "We should/shouldn't be doing [x]"
Brainstorm the key points you have to make in your presentation
Look for a way to put those points together so that they tell a satisfying story that has a beginning middle and an end
Think of the best, most interesting way to tell that story
Remember the rule: Less is More
Social Action: Identify the Key Decision Maker
It might be possible for you to take some action over your issue. Could you gather a petition or make an online petition and try to publicise it? Could you try to persuade key decision makers? Could you create something that could get on social media and raise awareness about an issue? Could you organise an event of some kind?
This doesn't mean pretend to do this, it means genuinely try to be active and participate in society.
Follow the link to 2015: