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Provo City School District

Wasatch Elementary School

Last modified: November 26, 2018

Great Brain Projects

Have you ever considered exercising your “great brain?”  If you have, this is the project for you.  All ages can participate in this project–only desire and persistence are needed.

A Great Brain project is an independent study project selected by the child.  This is done through intensive study over a period of weeks.  When a child is ready, he/she signs up with the teacher to make Great Brain presentation to classmates and invited relatives and friends.  Following the presentation, the child’s project is evaluated, and the child is given the title “specialist,” “expert,” “mastermind” or “genius.”  Children are encouraged to use a variety of sources of information.

Great Brain forms can be found in the Wasatch library.  You may use a Great Brain towards your Satch Patch.  You may also download the grading rubric on this page and read the directions on this page too.

LET’S GET STARTED!

STEP 1  Task Definition

With this first step the child will do the planning of the project.  Do a survey of interests and list several subjects which you may be interested in studying in depth.  With parents help, if possible, choose the subject which is most appealing and offers the most promise of new discoveries for you.  Be original–avoid common subjects like horses, cats, dogs…

Establish a time line for completing the project.  This project should take several weeks to complete.  It is fine to work on this project over the summer break.  Prepare a journal where you can record your information.

Decide on the type of product you want to make.  For example, written report, electronic presentation, song,video, poem, play, etc…  Choose something that you enjoy and that will be compatible with your subject.

Write a list of questions which you would like to learn about your chosen subject.  You can use these questions as an outline for collection information.  You may add to these questions as you dig deeper and deeper into your subject.

STEP 2  Information Seeking Strategies

Brainstorn all the possible sources you can for finding out information about your subject.  Remember to use print sources, electronic sources, and human sources (including museums, zoos, acutal site visits, interviews, etc.) of information.

Now select the best sources for your topic.

STEP 3  Location and Access

During this step you will need to find your sources.  Schedule time to go to the library and seek out your sources.  Make appointments for interviews.  Review your time line for completing the project.  Visit the library, museum, exhibit, etc. and locate your sources.  Check out the sources if possible or arrange for times to use them.  This step also includes learning how to use your sources such as the internet.  Successful, efficient internet searching is a skill.

STEP 4  Use of Information

Read, watch, listen, cut and paste, ask questions and record the information you find about your topic in your journal.  Do not copy the author’s words.  Use keywords and phrases to make notes in your own words.  Tell some of your own ideas.  This is the step where you gather all of the information that you can.

Select the most important information which you would like to share in your presentation.  Group the information together into an outline.

Keep a careful record of where you find each piece of interesting information as a bibiliography.

Review your plan to make sure you have all of the information you need to make your product.  Have you answered all of your questions.  If you haven’t, head back to STEP 2.  How are you doing on your time line?  Keep in touch with your teacher or librarian to let them know how are doing and if they can help you.

STEP 5  Synthesis

Putting it all together.  Develop an original product (written report, story, poem, art, video, song, PowerPoint, etc.) to reflect your own thinking.  You can make or collect audiovisual aids (pictures, posters, objects, etc.) to use in your presentation.  Try to think of things you would like to see.

Practice giving your presentation to family members in a loud clear voice and in your own words.  Hear suggestions for improvement and try again as many times as necessary.  You would like this to be a polished presentation.

Schedule a time with your teacher to present your project to your class.  Invite your family, friends and others to hear your presentation.

Give the evaluation form to your teacher to complete.  Deliver your presentation.

STEP 6  Evaluation

Take a deep breath.  Pat yourself on the back for your hard work.  Then look back at your project and decide what you did really well and what you could improve upon next time.  Reflect upon both your product and the process you used.  What did you learn from completing this project?

Examine and discuss the evaluation form with your teacher.  Give the completed evaluation to your Wasatch librarian for recording purposes.

That was hard work!  But is was worth it!  Congratulations!