Introducing the concept of the Big6 to middle school

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					         The Big What?


Introducing the concept of the Big6 to
       middle school students
   Call it a problem solving method that they can use
    to solve any problem, personal or academic
   Use practice problems that they can relate
    to—personal and academic
   Use a guided practice sheet—use the same one for
    the actual project
       We adapted one from the Definitive Big6 Workshop
        handbook
   Break it down step by step
       Steps 1, 2, 3 are the PLANNING stage (you can
        actually work through these steps in practice)
       Steps 4, 5 are the DOING stage (explain that you
        can’t actually do these in practice sessions, so just
        talk it through)
       Step 6 is the EVALUATING stage (explain that you
        can’t actually do it in practice, just talk it through)
   Be sure you practice 2-3 times with the students
    before the project begins.
       The more you practice, the more they will become
        use to the Big6 vocabulary and the more they will
        understand why you need to work through all the
        steps each time.
   Sample Problem to use for Practice

 Convince your friends to go to the movie of
  your choice Friday night.
                  Task Definition
                What do I need to do?
 1.1 Define the information problem
      Choose a movie
      Convince your friends to go to that movie with you on
       Friday night
 1.2 What information do I need to complete this
  task?
      Movies showing and their show times
      Prices
      Ratings
      How we’ll get to the theater and back
  Information Seeking Strategies
 What can I use to find what I need?
 2.1 Brainstorm the possible sources
      Newspaper
      Movie hotline
      Internet (theater website, Yahoo movies, etc.)
 2.2 Which of these sources are the best
      Discuss this with the students and come up with a
       ranking based on the type of information you can get
       from each source, the ease of getting ahold of the source
       and finding the information within the source
               Location & Access
           Where can I find what I need?
 3.1 Where are these sources located?
      Discuss where you can find each of these sources. Make
       sure you cover places like the school library, public
       library, possible their own home, etc.
 3.2 Where is the information found within these
  sources?
      Discuss this with the students, making sure to cover all
       bases within each source
          Newspaper—Movie theater advertisement
          Internet—Movie theater website, Yahoo Movies, etc.
          Movie hotline—dial the number and listen!
                         Use of Information
             What information can I use from these
                         resources?
 4.1 How can I best use each source?
      For this step you must remember to explain to the students
       that you can’t really do this for practice, but you will
       simply talk about what you WOULD do.
          Take notes
          Cut out ads in the paper
          Print showtimes from the Internet, etc.
 4.2 What information in each source is useful?
      Talk about what information is useful to them
          Showtimes, ratings, prices, where the theater is located, who will
           drive them to the show, etc.
                           Synthesis
   How can I put all this information together?

 5.1 How can I organize all this information
     Discuss different organizational strategies
         Notebooks, charts, etc.
 5.2 How can I present this information
     Discuss the BEST way to present this info to
      their friends in order to accomplish the task
      (always refer back to your task definition!)
         Talk to them, make a chart, make posters, etc.
               Evaluation
  How will I know if I did the job well?
 6.1 Judge the
      Again, explain that you can’t really do this until you are really doing
       the real thing, but you can talk through it
           Is the task completed? Well, are you at the movies? Did you consult all
            of the sources?
           How well is it completed? Well, are you at the movie YOU chose?
 6.2 Judge the process
      Set up the situation that they are NOT at the movie of their
       choice…ask what they could do better?
           Make a more convincing argument
           Make sure all bases are covered…if one of your friends can’t go to an R
            rated movie, then why choose it? Etc.
Ideas for other sample problems
   Convince your parents to let you get a cell phone
   Your family is going on vacation over Spring Break. Convince
    them to go somewhere YOU want to go.
   Your science teacher has told you that you have to do a report
    about a famous scientist. You may present your information in
    any format
   You have to make a PowerPoint presentation about the book
    you read for Language Arts class.
   You have to make a video about an event in history for Social
    Studies class.

   Use your imagination, use real assignments from your school,
    use ideas from the students themselves!