The fifth graders are in the process of completing their Unsolved Mysteries Wiki We read a book this fall called Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. The book explores a mystery surrounding Johann Vermeer. The research on Unsolved Mysteries was loosely connected to the book. The kids spent 3-4 weeks doing their research, completing citations, and finding images. They put the wiki together and are almost finished with links and images. I am in total agreement with Jamie McKenzie's ideas about Ending Topical Research. He says:
When students conduct topical research, they do little more than scoop up information. Topical research requires little thinking and little imagination. It pays few dividends. It does almost nothing to prepare students for the kinds of thinking skills listed in state and provincial curriculum standards.
But, I wanted content to teach them about wikis, and topical research was easy. I'm hoping before I retire to do a "real" project using a wiki. Let me know if you've got a good idea for a wiki-collaboration.
2 months ago