I am excited by the listicle projects my 9th grade students are turning in. Before my school went on break, I wrote about an assignment I had given students instead of the traditional research paper. Take a look at the link for my inspiration.
I'm excited because of the level of DOK that is in the project. If you don't know what DOK is, check out this PDF.
This assignment gets to the same levels of DOK 3 and DOK 4 that a traditional research paper demands of students. In some aspects, I think the listicle assignment is even more challenging because students have to sustain a narrative.
Now, of course students need to learn the conventions of traditional schooling and traditional academic prose. The research paper has its place and should be taught.
However, I'm also mindful that most of my students won't be academics after college and I think there is worth in becoming facile with newer media. Also, what I really like about the listicle project is that some of my students actually posted their work to Buzzfeed. We talk about the importance of authentic audience in school. I can't think of a better example.
Here is an example of a student's work.
She didn't want to send it to Buzzfeed but I think it is quite effective. Here is an example from a student who did indeed post his work to Buzzfeed.
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