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Waving is communicating ideas to others through presenting, publishing, and sharing. Students share their ideas, try out new approaches, and ask for feedback.

According to Webster's dictionary, waving is a gesture or signal. Students need to develop waves to gain the attention of their audience.

Waving a flag, volunteering at a soup kitchen, marching for a cause, presenting to a county board, publishing in an ezine, and sending a video to a nonprofit organization are all effective ways to draw attention and convey ideas. Some students may contact local, state, national, or international agencies to share their ideas directly with organizations that can implement change. Others may publish their projects in print, video, or online form for other students.

Identifying an Audience

You've carefully explored issues, identified problems, and developed solutions. Who needs to hear, see, or read about your ideas? How can you have an impact? How will you share or communicate your ideas with others?

Service Learning. Service learning is about students becoming active members of their community. For instance, studentsmight work with a local community organization, learn about their work, and build web pages. Resources such as Learn and Serve, DoSomething.org, and Internet's Progressive Gateway provide good starting points for these types of projects.

Expert Sharing. Explore ways to gain the attention of your audience. You may share your ideas with a local, regional, state, national, or international nonprofit agency, government organization, business, or industry. You might want to email an expert your results or findings. Ask what they think about your recommendation or conclusion. Go to Teacher Tap: Ask-An-Expert to locate experts in a wide range of fields, Find a Person to find addresses and emails, and Switchboard to find people and businesses.

Collaborative Projects. Try a collaborative project communicating with other classrooms. Go to Teacher Tap: Collaboration to locate students in other schools for sharing projects and Epals to locate classrooms, teachers, and students.

Contests and Events. Join a contest or event as part of your project sharing. The nice thing about a contest is that you have a specific timeline and set of guidelines to follow. Try doing a search in Google for "poetry contest" or "science contest". Go to Thinkquest, Cyberfair, Science Fair Central, and Giggle Poetry for ideas.

Ezine Publishing. Consider publishing in online ezines and kids pages. Go to CyberKids,CyberTeens, and KidsCom for ideas.

Web Publishing. Students can also share with the global audience by creating a web page. If you don't have your own class page, consider a free web-hosting service. Go to Project Poster for student project posting. Also consider website creators such as Google Sites and Weebly.

Communicating with Others

Developing effective communications involves more than just sending your product to an audience.

Purpose. As you design your communication, consider your purpose. Do you want to inform, instruct, persuade, or entertain? Are you interested in interaction or simply conveying your information? If you're interested in two-way communication, you need to build interactivity into your message. Will you ask your audience questions, will your audience ask the questions, or both?

Channels. Consider the best channel of communication for sharing. Will your audience use their hearing, sight, taste, touch, or smell to understand your communication? Will you use video, audio, text, or graphics? Which would be most effective? How will you transform your product into something that can be shared? In other words, if you created a skit can you videotape it? If you created a poster, could you scan it and send it through the Internet to another class?

Format. Think about the format of the communication. Will you share a print document, graphic, presentation, animation, web page, audio/video, portfolio, scrapbook, poster, mural, object, sculpture, diorama, or other item?

Sharing. Consider tools that will be needed to share with your audience. How will you interact with your audience? Will you communicate through the Internet such as an email, chat, video conference, or web page. Will you communicate through a live or recorded presentation, speech, discussion, debate, or demonstration?


Storytelling may seem juvenile to a group of teenagers, but it's one of the most powerful methods of communication known to humans. A good story tugs at the heart and elicits strong emotions. Go to 42explore: Storytelling for ideas.

try itWaving Checklist
Develop an activity that helps your students communicate with an audience. Identifying an Audience - select an audience for your project
Communicating with Others - develop a specific communications

video clipView Audience (2:33).

Carol Kuhlthau discusses the important of the concept of audience for student work and projects and highlights the importance of collaboration. – Excerpt from interview with Daniel Callison.

Use of this video clip complies with the TEACH act and US copyright law. You should be a registered student to view the video.

eye means readRead Gaining a New, Wider Audience: Publishing Student Work on the Internet by Rachel A. Karchmer in Readling Online (2001).

eye means readRead Key Word: Audience Analysis in THE BLUE BOOK by Callison and Preddy, 285-291.

Read Key Word: Idea Strategies in THE BLUE BOOK by Callison and Preddy, 387-394.

Read Key Word: Story in THE BLUE BOOK by Callison and Preddy, 531-535.

Key Words

Learn More

101 Ideas for Combining Service and Learning. See how you and your students can have a real impact.

Strum, Brian W. (1999). The Enchanted Imagination: Storytelling’s Power to Entrance Listeners. SLMR, 2.

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