Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources
In Phase 1 I did some background research and asked 10 big questions about bamboo weaving that I will try to answer when working on my project in Xizhou. In this phase, I will be finding helpful resources for my inquiry project.
When doing my background research about bamboo weaving (located in Phase 3), I used many keywords. The first keyword that I used was "bamboo", this was to gain a super basic knowledge of bamboo weaving. Just typing in "bamboo" allowed me to learn about different types of bamboo and whats best for weaving. I also used the keywords "origin of bamboo weaving" to learn about the history of bamboo weaving. To gain a better understanding of the process of bamboo weaving I used the keywords "basket weaving" and "bamboo weaving." When I first started my research, I focused mainly on bamboo weaving in China, but later I started using keywords like "bamboo weaving in Dali" or "bamboo weaving in Xizhou" to learn more about weaving in the specific area.
Another major aspect of getting my background research is validating my sources. It is important to validate sources because I have to make sure the source is reliable and is giving accurate information. My main technique of validating my sources was using the C.R.A.P assessment. This is a technique the I learned in science, it stands for Currency, Reliability, Authority, and Point of View/Purpose. The C.R.A.P assessment asks questions like name the author, when was this written, does another source have similar information, etc. Some of the sources I used were easy to validate, but I had to dig a little deeper with some other sources.
While doing my research, I had to find out who the author of the articles I was reading was. Most times the author was stated right above the article, but to find out more about the author I went to the "About Me" section. This not only helped me find out about the author but it also helped me further validate the source.
To make my research better, I decided to reach out to an expert in bamboo weaving. I came across an article about Bamboo Fiber in Spinning and Weaving and I created an email to send to the author of the article, Zhou Hengshu, to see if he could give some feedback on my research. Below is the email I sent to him:
Dear Zhou Hengshu,
My name is Sarah, and I am an 8th grade student at Shanghai American School. In March I will be going on a trip to Xizhou. In Xizhou I will be studying a topic of my choice, and I have chosen bamboo weaving.
I have just read your article about Bamboo Fiber in Spinning and Weaving and I would really appreciate it if you could look at some of the work I have done. I am not looking for answers to my questions, but I would appreciate it if you could give me some general feedback on my work and maybe some other resources the I could use.
I have come up with a list of questions to help me further research my topic:
1) Where do bamboo weavers get their bamboo?
2) Are there different types of bamboo? What types are best for weaving?
3) What is the best technique for bamboo weaving?
4) What is the most important part of the bamboo weaving process?
5) Have there been changes in the popularity of bamboo woven items?
6) How much does bamboo weaving contribute to the economic growth of Xizou?
7) How do bamboo weavers make a profit on their products?
8) Is bamboo weaving a traditional craft of Xizhou, or was it brought into Xizhou? When/how/why was it introduced into Xizhou?
9) What are the uses of bamboo woven items? What are the most popular items?
10) Is bamboo weaving a dying art? Are younger generations interested in learning about bamboo weaving?
If possible, I would love it if you could look at the work I have done so far. The link to my page is http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/students/about/9981
Thank you so much for reading this email!
As of now, Zhou Hengshu has not responded to my email.