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.
After arriving in Xizhou, I have started my 3 to 5's, 3 to 5's are 3 to 5 minute interviews with 3 to 5 different people. These conversations are very beneficial because it is a way to learn where I can find local contacts that I can talk to and learn more about bamboo weaving. I have decided to conduct my 3 to 5's with Mr. T, Ms. Mai, Mr. Zhao, Ms. B, and Mr. Chen. I chose to talk with Mr. T because he has spent a lot of time in Xizhou and knows the area very well. I choose to talk with Ms. Mai, because like Mr. T, she also knows the area well and has spent lots of time in Xizhou. I wanted to talk with Mr. Chen and Ms. B because they both live in Xizhou and have a great general understanding of the village. I also talked to Mr. Zhao because he spends a lot of time in Xizhou and knows the area really well. Below is a list of the contacts and locations that I have gotten from my 3 to 5's.
- Wang family
- Morning market
- Morning market - people selling
- Neighboring village
- A family in neighboring village
- Street Vendors
- Souvenir shop
- Wang Family
- Local Market
- A vendor on the corner of the Morning Market
- Stores around the village
- Mr. T
- Ms. Mai
After talking with Mr. T, Ms. Mai, Mr. Zhao, Ms. B, and Mr. Chen, I now feel that I have enough possible contacts and locations to visit. I have a list of I feel that if I can visit all of these recommended locations and contacts, I think that I will learn a lot about bamboo weaving.
If I need more information about Bamboo Weaving, I can go to the Linden Centre's library. The Linden Centre has the largest library in Xizhou, so hopefully I will be able to find some books about bamboo weaving.
Overall in Phase 2, I have found helpful resources by emailing an expert and conducting my 3 to 5's. Now I will be moving on to Phase 3 where I will be interpreting information and talking to the locals to learn even more about bamboo weaving.