Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

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.


Unknown said...

We had spoken via email a while back, but I wanted to let you know that I am still game for a wiki-collaboration if you have anything in mind. Please feel free to contact me via my blogs at either or at

We have several projects in the wings for after our month of March (state testing month). Let's keep in touch.


teachagiftedkid said...

I've always thought this book was a great starting point for gifted kids. I did not get the chance to develop curriculum for it before the school year ended and I have since moved. When I'm in a gifted classroom next, I'm looking your ideas up, for sure.

nbosch said...

Right now I'm working on Titanic in the Classroom (database and curriculum not complete) and a book discussion for Treasure Island (we may not do that book--it's a touch one for kids) but we are doing Pirates and Shipwrecks this fall. I've got some other ideas on using historical blogs---I'll get back to you with other brainstorms. How old are your kids?