Wisconsin for Kids and By Kids

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Project Info

Grade Levels6, 7, 8
FormatChildren's book
DisciplinesEnglish Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts

Project Overview

This book celebrating the people and places of Wisconsin was created by students at the Winnequah Middle School in Monona, Wisconsin, as a way to introduce elementary school students to unique features of the state. Because elementary schools in the state were required to cover Wisconsin history, this book met a genuine need and connected to a purchasing audience.

To create this professional quality book, students extensively researched the history of people, places and events as well as the current information about their state. Students also worked with local experts, including a professional illustrator, historians and journalists. All facts were checked for historical accuracy by outside experts.

All of the writing and illustrations are student originals. Students went through many rounds of drafting and rewriting/redrawing, through peer, teacher and outside expert feedback. Over 500 students contributed to the creation of the book.

This book was professionally produced, has an ISBN number, and was sold to schools throughout the state. Proceeds from the sale of the book went to literacy programs at the school. 

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Exemplifies a useful product with an authentic audience
  • A project model that could be done in any state, with a genuine audience
  • Simple format, compelling visual presentation
  • Represents the work of over 500 students - a multi-class, multi-grade, whole school production
  • Demonstrates high quality work produced through an ongoing and extensive process of critique and revision
  • Strong artwork that retains an expressive student hand. See the illustration of Dan Jansen on page 20, the portrait of Harry Houdini on page 14 and the drawing of Native Americans on page 52
  • An appealing and engaging product – a professional quality layout and production - and still contains the look and feel of real student work
  • Shows a product that required extensive research, through collecting and collating multiple sources of information
  • The writing of a book for a younger audience allowed these students to succinctly demonstrate their understanding of the content 

Associated Standards

StandardLong-term Learning Targets
L.6.3I can use a variety of sentence structures to make my writing and speaking more interesting.
I can maintain consistency in style and tone when writing and speaking.
L.6.6I can accurately use 6th grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas.
I can use resources to build my vocabulary.
L.7.3I can express ideas with precision.
L.7.6I can accurately use 7th grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas.
I can use resources to build my vocabulary.
L.8.1I can use correct grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.8.2I can use correct capitalization, punctuation and spelling to send a clear message to my reader.
L.8.3I can intentionally use verbs in active and passive voice and in the conditional and subjunctive mood.
L.8.6I can accurately use 8th grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas.
I can use resources to build my vocabulary.
W.6.3I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense.
W.6.4I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.6.5With support from peers and adults, I can use a writing process to produce clear and coherent writing.
W.7.3I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense.
W.7.4I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose and audience.
W.7.5With support from peers and adults, I can use a writing process to ensure that purpose and audience have been addressed.
W.8.3I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense.
W.8.4I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose and audience.
W.8.5With support from peers and adults, I can use the writing process to ensure that purpose and audience have been addressed.
W.8.8I can gather relevant information from a variety of sources.
I can use search terms effectively.
I can evaluate the credibility and accuracy of each source.
I can quote and paraphrase others’ work while avoiding plagiarism.
I can use a standard format for citation.
W.8.9I can use evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research.
WHST.6-8.2
WHST.6-8.4
WHST.6-8.5
WHST.6-8.8
WHST.6-8.9

Content Areas & 21st Century Skills

  1. Core subjects and themes – Social Studies: Exploration of culture and history of Wisconsin; Reading: Determining importance and synthesis of information from multiple sources; Writing: Word choice, voice and sentence fluency, and presentation; Art: Portraiture, illustrations of people and places, illustrations of historical events; Themes: Civic literacy – production of a book to help younger students understand about the state in which they live  
  2. Learning and innovation – Extensive collaboration; creative expression of factual information.
  3. Information, media, and technology skills – Entering of text via computers; design and layout of book (though mostly done by one volunteer high school student).
  4. Life and career skills – In-depth knowledge of one’s own state; individual responsibilities amidst a large collaborative project; managing time and resources; working with local experts; skills of critique; ethic of revision.

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