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The REACTS Taxonomy will be most useful when you are planning research assignments and you would like for students to share their new understandings in authentic and engaging ways. The example products listed for every level of the taxonomy require students to think and create with their researched information, rather than simply copy or parrot back the facts.
from Brainstorms and Blueprints: Teaching Library Research as a Thinking Process by Barbara Stripling and Judy Pitts (Libraries Unlimited)
Recalling – Level 1
- Recalling and reporting the main facts discovered
- Making no attempt to analyze the information or reorganize it for comparison purposes
Verbs: arrange; cluster; define; find; identify; label; list; locate; match; name; recall; recount; repeat; reproduce; select; sort; state
- Select 5-10 accomplishments of the person you have researched. Produce a “Hall of Fame” (or “Hall of Shame”) poster with your biographee’s photocopied picture and list of accomplishments.
- After your class adopts a second- or third-grade class, write a letter to your assigned student recounting five interesting facts you discovered in your research.
- List five “Do’s and Dont’s” about a social issue that you have researched.
- Find facts about your subject for each category determined by the class. Contribute your facts to the “Fact File” on your class’s web page.
- Select pictures from discarded magazines, make photocopied pictures, or find appropriate pictures on the Web to produce a collage or picture essay that portrays your researched subject.
- Based on your research, state five questions a television reporter might ask if he/she were preparing a feature news story on your subject. Answer the questions. (Students could work in pairs; their interviews could be videotaped.)
- Arrange words important to your research in a crossword puzzle.
- Define key words about your research subject. Embed hot links in your Web page to your definitions in a class glossary page.
Explaining – Level 2
- Recalling and restating, summarizing, or paraphrasing information
- Finding example, explaining events or actions
- Understanding the information well enough to be able to put it in a new context
Verbs: apply; cite; complete; convert; demonstrate; describe; document; dramatize; emulate; estimate; expand; explain; expound; express; generalize; give example; illustrate; imagine; paraphrase; portray; prepare; present; produce; propose; restate; review; search; show; solve; speculate; summarize; support; survey; translate; use
- Dramatize a particularly exciting event associated with your research in an on-the-spot report.
- Illustrate important features about your research by using clip art or a computer drawing program.
- Write and present a CNN News report about a particular event or person you researched.
- Keep a journal in which you present your reactions, thoughts, and feelings about your research.
- Show the events of your research on a map and explain the importance of each event.
- Complete each of the following statements based on your research: My research made me wish that. . . ; realize that. . . ; decide that. . . ; wonder about. . . ; see that. . . ; believe that. . . ; feel that. . . ; hope that. . . .
- Cut out newspaper or magazine ads that would have interested an historical figure you have researched. Explain their importance to the historical figure.
- Express the interests and accomplishments of an historical figure you have researched through a fictional diary mounted on your class’s Web page. Portray your figure’s characteristics by linking to Web sites that would have been important to your person’s life and work.
- Prepare a job application or resume for a person you have researched.
- Keep an explorer’s log book to express your impressions as you investigate the sights and way of life in another country through research.
Analyzing – Level 3
- Breaking a subject into its component parts (causes, effects, problems, solutions)
- Comparing one part with another
Verbs: analyze; apply; arrange; associate; break down; categorize; change; characterize; classify; compare; compile; construct; contrast; correlate; diagram; differentiate; discover; discriminate; dissect; distinguish; divide; examine; experiment; extend; group; infer; interpret; manipulate; map; modify; organize; outline; plan; question; reconstruct; relate; represent; revise; rewrite; scrutinize; select; separate; sequence; sift; simplify; solve; transplant; uncover; utilize; verify
- Create a timeline for the events which led up to the situation you researched. Correlate social, political, religious, educational, technological events.
- Transplant an event or famous person from one time period, country, or ecological system to another time or place. Explain the changes that would occur.
- Construct a carefully organized Web page to examine a social issue.
- Characterize your researched historical person in an obituary which makes clear his/her role in the conflicts of the day.
- Compare your lifestyle and neighborhood to those of people living in the time you have researched.
- Write a letter to the editor scrutinizing a local issue. Support your opinions with specific details from your research.
- Rewrite an historical event from two different points of view.
- Write a recipe for an historical event by researching, analyzing to pick out the main ingredients, and sequencing them in order with mixing instructions.
- Organize and create a travel brochure (on paper or on the Web) to attract visitors to the place or time period you have researched. Include all information that one would need to know plus fascinating details that would draw visitors.
- Use a graphic organizer to outline the main ideas of your subject visually, showing relationships between ideas and supporting points.
Challenging – Level 4
- Making critical judgments about subject based on internal or external standards
- (Standards may be student’s own, or teacher or class may decide criteria. “I didn’t like it” or “I don’t believe it” are not enough)
Verbs: appraise; argue; assess; compare; criticize; debate; defend; determine; discriminate; evaluate; grade; investigate; judge; justify; modify; prioritize; rank; rate, refute; review; support; value; weigh
- Produce a critical review (of a book, movie, or play) which can be printed in a local paper or aired on local television or radio stations.
- Act as an attorney and argue to punish or acquit an historical character or a country for a crime or misdeed.
- Determine as a movie producer whether or not to make a film of an actual historical event, with justification for the decision.
- Defend your judgment that a research subject (if it is an invention, machine, or some other item or document) should be placed in a time capsule to be dug up in 100 years.
- Judge the merits of a researched subject by conducting a mock trial.
- Debate the issues of a controversial research topic with a classmate who researched the same topic.
- Evaluate the information available in print and electronic format on your topic, based on clear evaluation criteria. Compile an annotated bibliography of valuable sites and sources.
- Investigate a societal problem. Prepare a report card on the issue that assigns a grade for each proposed or attempted solution (look at the cost, feasibility, probable success, ease of implementation). Justify your grades.
- Evaluate the accuracy of an historical or teen-problem novel by comparing the “factual” information in the novel with the facts you discover through research. Refute the nonfactual information in a letter from “Dear Abby.”
- Using a job evaluation form, rate a public person’s performance of his/her job based on your research. Justify your ratings.
- Create an editorial cartoon about your researched subject that makes clear your judgment about the subject.
Transforming – Level 5
- Bringing together more than one piece of information, forming own conclusion, and presenting that conclusion in a creative new format
Verbs: blend; build; combine; compile; compose; conclude; construct; convince; create; decide; design; develop; dramatize; elaborate; express; forecast; formulate; generate; imagine; modify; persuade; plan; predict; pretend; produce; propose; revise; speculate; structure
- Design and produce a television commercial or a whole advertising campaign that presents your research results to the class.
- Create a board game that incorporates the major conclusions you reached about your researched subject.
- Write a poem or short story that expresses your new knowledge or insight.
- Dramatize a famous historical event. The dramatization should make clear your interpretation of the event.
- Predict your reaction to your research subject as a resident of the future.
- Compose a speech that an historical person might deliver about a present-day national issue. Compose a speech that a current public person might deliver about an historical issue.
- Become a person in the historical era you have researched; elaborate from that perspective about a specific event, problem, invention, scientific theory, or political situation in a letter to someone.
- Predict what your researched person would take on a trip. Design the itinerary. Pack that person’s suitcase and present each item to the class with an explanation of significance.
- Research a specific event, person, or aspect of the culture of an historical or modern era. Write and produce a segment for a morning news show on your topic.
- Pretend you are living in a particular place or historical era. Research a subject that is important to that time or place. Develop a newspaper or magazine article about that subject as though you were living there. Work with your classmates to produce the entire newspaper or magazine.
- Design a hypermedia program or a Web page about your researched subject that allows others to follow several different paths through your information.
Synthesizing – Level 6
- Creating an entirely original product based on a new concept or theory
Verbs: build a model program; create; design; develop; devise; generate; hypothesize; invent; propose; theorize
- Develop a model program to address a social problem that you have researched.
- Invent a new animal; explain its effect on other animals and on the environment.
- Create a new country and hypothesize about the change in the balance of power in the world.
- Design a new building, machine, process, experiment based on theories developed from your research.
- Develop proposed legislation to address national, state, or local issues.
- Devise an ethical code for present-day researchers or scientists which could regulate their activities in a particular field.
- Develop a community project that addresses an issue of local concern.
- Design and carry out a science project that builds on the previous knowledge that you have discovered through research and tests a new concept or theory.