In Week 1 of this term, my Stage 3 students did a pre-test about bushrangers (they are studying “Gold” as an HSIE unit in class), writing down everything they thought we knew, or would like to find out, about bushrangers. We all realised they didn’t know very much. Yet.
Last week, the four classes had a brief look at a 2008 CBCA shortlisted information book, Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie letter (Black Dog, 2007) edited by Carole Wilkinson. Coincidentally, it was a book from our recent Book Fair! It will hopefully help us all to get to know the real Ned Kelly. The students were surprised that Ned Kelly felt he had rightful reasons to be a bushranger, and to be very angry with the police of the day.
This week, the students have been marking up an article with “PMIs” (“plus”, “minus” and “interesting”) to help them explore what they know about bushrangers and life on the historic goldfields of Australia. The chapter was “Law on the Goldfields” (pp 24-25) from Gold in Australia (Macmillan, 1996) by Bruce McClish.
Next week they will start entering data as blog entries at a new blog site, Gold quest started up yesterday by my teacher-librarian colleague, Jenny Scheffers, so we can share our information with the students at her school, through guided enquiry and WebQuests. It is sure to be a steep learning curve for both educators and students, but we are looking forward to it. To be continued…