Sunday, December 28, 2008
What is a grading rubric? A rubric is a set of categories which define and describe the important components of the work being assessed. You will be assessed on 7 different parts of the make.a.difference project with the following rubrics. Along with the detailed descriptions and instruction you have received in class, using a rubric while working on the project will help you to stay focused and also know exactly what is expected of you. Feel free to print them out and grade yourself along the way to gauge how you are doing.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
60 years ago this very day - after the horrors of World War II - the world came together at the United Nations to unanimously pass the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This powerful declaration says that every human being deserves dignity, freedom and respect. It's the first blueprint for global rights, establishing fundamental freedoms for every human being.
The UDHR set in motion a global movement that literally opened prison doors, shut down torture and execution chambers, and caused the downfall of the worst tyrannies.
60 years later, despite much progress, millions are still denied basic human rights. Many governments still show more interest in abusing power than respecting those they lead. For far too many, injustice, inequality and impunity are still the hallmarks of our world today.
But hope exists.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
If your person or organization could have a toolbox with 3 things that would help them make a difference, what would they be? In a creative way, include 3 tangible objects that symbolize how to make a difference and put them in a “toolbox”. This toolbox doesn’t necessarily have to be a regular toolbox. It can be a creative enclosure that relates to your topic. Include 3 brief descriptions of the items and how your person or organization would use them to make a difference. This toolbox will be included on your table for the final presentation. If you click the picture above, you will see examples of similar toolboxes that were created for a topic in genocide prevention. You can also visit the Be the Change website to see what the featured people would include in their toolbox.
Your business letter is due January 28th. It needs to follow the above format and be at least 2 paragraphs long (6-8 sentences each) as well as be typed neatly. Write to someone that would be connected to your person or organization. Make sure that you have an address to send it to. You will be actually mailing this the following week after it is due, so be prepared to bring in a stamped envelope.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Although wikipedia cannot be used as one of your works cited, it is great for finding resources about your topic. Simply type in your topic and scroll down to the bottom of the wikipedia entry. There, you will find notes, references, external links, and works online.
Verified facts, information, and biographies from trusted sources
HighBeam Encyclopedia gives you credible answers from published reference works – all in one place:
- 49 encyclopedias from sources like Oxford University Press, Britannica, and Columbia University Press
- 73 dictionaries and thesauruses with definitions, synonyms, pronunciation keys, word origins, and abbreviations
Click the easy bib logo above to create your own free easy bib account. You will be able to keep your bibliography online, upload it to a word document, and have it already alphabetized and in correct mla format. You'll also be able to add annotations. :o)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Drum roll, please...
Alli: Schindler and Upstanders of the Holocaust
Jake: The UN
Alex: Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's
Kyle: Autism Awareness
Jill: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Anna: Peace Corps
Nisha: World Wildlife Federation
Emily: Alex's Lemonade and Childhood Cancer
Douglas: Nikola Tesla and the Electric Current
Lane: Al Gore and Global Warming
Brianna: PETA and Ingrid Newkirk
Allison: Homelessness in America
Casey: Susan G. Komen and Breast Cancer Awareness
Evan: Renewable Energy
Bradley: William Penn
Maisie: Steve Irwin and Australian Animal Conservation
Jack A.: Bobby Kennedy and Civil Rights
Tiffany: Make a Wish Foundation and Terminal Childhood Illness Research/Awareness
Lena: Suffragist Movement
Lizzy: American Red Cross and Water Safety
Taylor: Jane Goodall
Courtney: Guide Dog Foundation and Education/Technology for the Blind
Avery: Therapeutic Animals
Michael: George Bush
Nelson: Colin Powell
Emma: Save the Dolphins
Aaron: ALS Association
Shane: Ben Franklin
Jack Z.: Greenpeace
Sunday, October 12, 2008
About the Civil Rights Book Club
Social Justice Issues Beyond the Headlines
Welcome to the Civil Rights Book Club, where you can explore today's complex civil rights issues on a whole new level. Click the picture above to see this month's featured books.
Carefully chosen and reviewed by leaders of today's progressive movement, our selection of books and other media aims to provide context and provoke discussion about today's top social justice concerns.
Each month, we will feature five books representing the diversity of the contemporary social justice landscape on topics like voting rights, immigration reform, economic inequality, women's rights, and educational equity.
Click here for past selections.
Click here to find out about this month's urgent action due by Oct. 25th.
When 11-year-old Aubyn Burnside heard about how many children in foster care programs are forced to carry their belongings in garbage bags because they cannot afford suitcases, she was shocked and saddened. "I thought they must feel like garbage themselves," she said. So, Aubyn founded Suitcases for Kids, dedicating herself to ensuring that every child in foster care would have a bag of his or her own.
Want to help kids in other parts of the world get the things they need to survive and grow?
You've got the power to do it! Click the pic above to find out how!
Getting involved is easy and fun!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
A man was walking along the beach one evening and saw a little boy throwing starfish that had been washed ashore by the tide into the sea. He thought the boy was silly in trying to save the starfish, as he knew it was impossible to throw every single one of the starfish back into the sea, with the tides washing them up. The man walked right up to the boy and asked him why he was trying to save the starfish. 'You see sir; the starfish would die if they are left on the shore. They need to be in the sea in order to live,' answered the boy with all the innocence of a child. 'But son, how are you going to save all of them? Every time you put one back, another would be washed up. It doesn't matter to them, son' The boy picked up a starfish, looked at the man and said, 'But sir, it matters to this one.' After saying that, he threw the starfish back into the sea.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Like all kinds of five paragraph essays, there is a specific format to be followed.
- The topic sentence cannot be a fact as facts cannot be debated. It should be a statement of position. That position must be clear and direct. This statement directs the readers to follow along with your logic towards the specific stated conclusion that you want them to support. Do not make it personal so do not use personal pronouns. Make it definitive.
- Then, in the same introductory paragraph, state the three best reasons that you have to support your position as the remainder of the opening paragraph. These reasons become the topics of each of the three supporting paragraphs. Again, be sure they are able to be supported with additional separate facts.
- In the body of the essay, the writer uses specific evidence, examples, and statistics and not broad generalizations or personal opinions to persuade the reader that the stated position is a valid one. Each topic sentence for the support paragraphs have been introduced in the beginning paragraph. Each additional sentence must closely relate to the topic and the sentence that came before it. This way, the logic of the argument is easy to follow.
- Be sure to use adequate transitions between paragraphs as they make it easy for the reader to follow the logic of the presentation.
- As one closes the essay, it is most important to to clearly redefine the topic and restate the most compelling evidence cited in original form. Remember, this is the last chance to remind the reader and convince him/her to accept the writer's position.
- Do not introduce new material in the conclusion.
In order to do this, you must spend some time doing preliminary background research so that you are able to write convincingly of your topic's positive contribution.
Try to avoid statements such as:
"Please give me this topic because I want it."
"Please give me this topic because I like it."
~refer to the next blog post about tips for persuasive writing for more help.
(remember that a paragraph is usually 6-8 sentences)
1st paragraph: Introduction to your topic.
2nd paragraph: Why your topic is an important topic to study (introduce your evidence to support your argument)
3rd paragraph: Introduce what you know about the positive contribution of your topic to the service of humanity.
4th paragraph: Why this topic is meaningful to you. Why did you select this topic?
5th paragrpah: Conclusion to your topic and of your argument.
Some things to consider:
- Your topic must have enough information to span a year-long project.
- Since you are spending so much time on it, choose something that you are really interested in.
- Will you be able to create a variety of writing pieces, including a research paper with the amount of information you have?
- Are there a variety of sources on the topic? (ie. books, magazine articles, reference materials, primary source documents, multi-media information, as well as the internet)
- Do you have any personal connections to the topic?
Some questions to ask yourself about your topic:
- What issues do I care about and why?
- What types of things inspire me to make a difference in the world?
- What people or organizations do I admire because they have changed the world in a positive way?
- Have I ever done any volunteer work? How does that make me feel?
- What motivates me to make a difference?
Some websites to visit:
If you are looking for a person to use for your topic, these websites are a great resource:
If you are looking for an organization, these websites are a great place to start:
Some other topics in general:
- Women’s rights
- Conflict resolution
- Justice and discrimination
- Music and the arts
- Environmental issues
- Migrant/immigrant rights
- Slavery/trafficking of persons
- Right to education
- Right to housing
- Freedom of expression
- Animal rights