Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Legend of Ned Kelly – an electronic resource

Jonas prepared the following statement from the teachers perspective re the use of the 'Ned Kelly' learning object and has given his consent to me publishing it here.

Using Patrick Brennan: The Legend of Ned Kelly – an electronic resource

The idea of this activity is to encourage students to evaluate the testimonies of several key witnesses who had some dealings with Ned Kelly and his gang during their career. The students’ task is then to produce a newspaper article discussing Ned’s status as a hero or a villain.

This exercise was included as part of a Year Nine SOSE Australian history unit, within the Time Continuity and Change strand, on the Goldrush period (1850s) and the bushrangers. The theme behind this unit was ‘Heroes and Villains’, which tied in with the SACSAF Essential learning: Identity. We were also using Bloom’s Taxonomy to guide our learning journey. The syllabus required us to analyse and evaluate primary and secondary sources, which tied in with Bloom’s quite nicely.

This activity was very successful, with most of the students engaged, for most of the time. I would recommend that you allow at least two double lessons, possibly three, as many students will make false starts and may need to create multiple drafts.

Some preparation before the students commence is required. It is worth establishing what conventions are in place when constructing a newspaper article and how quotations should be used. A few students merely ‘cut and pasted’ the entirety of their article from the secondary background information and the primary quotes, it would be wise to warn against this.

The program is easy for students to use and the material is accessible to middle school learners. The link to the secondary sources, pictures and background information is not very obvious and students may have to be shown where to find it. Once found, however, this is invaluable; it is accessible and well presented.

The pro-forma is a useful tool for students to construct their articles, as it provides a layout and format for the article. Pictures can be added from the archives, if desired. If students need to save their work, then they will need to copy it to a ‘Word’ document or similar as there is no mechanism for saving work within the program. This is useful, however, as it provides an opportunity for proof-reading and running a ‘spell-check’ as well as honing document handling procedures.


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