METUCHEN – Last week, Edgar Middle School computer teacher Roseann Misrahi, librarian Jane Brown, and fifth grade students Christopher Whittington, Julius Cruz, Chloe Jaques and Grace Shleck traveled to the Department of Education in Trenton to showcase their Comic Life Graphic Biography project at the sixth annual Kid Tech Day. Metuchen Superintendent of Schools Vincent Caputo joined the Edgar group in Trenton.
Kid Tech Day was created to showcase presentations made by students exemplifying best practices in technology that lead to student achievement in a specific content area. The Metuchen students and teachers shared the highlights of the graphic biography project to Department of Education staff, legislators and the press. Out of the 2,500 schools in the State of New Jersey, only 10 were selected to showcase their work at this event.
The graphic biography project is a literacy technology project for students in fifth grade that asks them to explore the life of a famous person. The purpose of the project is to teach students how to acquire new knowledge even if they know nothing about a particular topic. Students are taught how to build knowledge with a reliable first source and then use that information to seek additional knowledge on the specific topic.
Along the way, they are taught how to ask good questions to further refine their internet-based searches; helping them to find those extra bits of information without getting lost in a mound of noise. Using Comic Life software by Plasq, the students move from knowledge seekers to first-rate story tellers by producing a biographical comic book, allowing them to present what they have learned to their classmates through an engaging medium.