I visited Readers-Writers-Thinkers today and decided to play around a bit. I noticed a link with the words Renassiance Man and decided to follow the path. If I was a fifth grader here is what I would read:
You are a historian about to begin writing a book about Leonardo da Vinci's work. But first, you must discover more about da Vinci. As you investigate the case of the Renaissance Man, you should find out—
where and when he lived
his most famous inventions and artwork
what it means to be a "Renaissance man"
why da Vinci is considered a Renaissance man
how life would be different without his work
Futher directions tell the student to organize his/her notes in outline form and design a table of contents, title, and cover for his/her book.
Think about your language arts curriculum for a minute. How many different standards does this authentic activity/assessment cover? A quick count for me is at least 10 especially if I cross over into Social Studies as well.
A further link in the sidebar reminds students to proofread their work. When I clicked through I found a list of ten things my writing should not have with vocabulary highlighted in yellow such as plagiarism and gratuitous violence. I life this different kind of proofreading list…it fits many of the things I see in my student’s writing these days.
This could be a wonderful resource for those higher level writers in your classroom. During your writing time while you work more closely with the students who need you, the higher level students could work on their own with the website. On the flipside this website could help the lower-end students by helping them with ideas and craft. This site could also be given to parents who ask for recourses to help their child at home.
I plan to explore Readers-Writers-Thinkers a bit more, and I hope you discover it as well.