Brainstorming Research Topics Teacher Resources
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Beginner 4: Searching for Evidence for Research Tasks
Having a strong searching skill set can make a research project much easier and much for successful for pupils. Tackle finding evidence with the ideas included here. The ultimate goal is for class members to learn the stepping stones method, which will help them discover new information and probe more deeply into their research topic. The resource is quite detailed and includes articles and sources to print as well as a presentation and a graphic organizer.
Brainstorming can be more than simply writing down a few ideas. Using the Inspiration Software program, learners visualize the process and learn about linking ideas to form logical relationships. Even without the program, there is still plenty to use here. Lead your class through an Inspiration tutorial where they come up with research topic ideas, create an idea web, and add images. Hyperlink ideas to online resources, and translate the visual idea map to a linear outline.
Focus: Writing a Brief Research Paper
If you are planning on working on a research paper in your class, take a look at this resource first. Starting off with information about plagiarism, the series of activities briefly described here should give your pupils a general idea of how to write a research paper. While the bulk of the resource is an overview of activities and does not include much detail, there are quite a few useful links to help enrich the instructional activity.
Jump-Starting Research with Visual Thesaurus
Students navigate the Visual Thesaurus to find keywords for research. In this keywords lesson, students use synonyms, hypernyms and hyponyms to find keywords. Students understand why some searches are effective and some are ineffective.
Introduce your young writers to visual brainstorming. No matter the type of project, the provided templates will help class members generate and record ideas, organize information, and develop questions for further inquiry. The scripted plan includes templates, directions for the use of the software, models, and adaptations.
Gather some information, print it onto sentence strips, and then have your class physically shuffle the cards to better understand the importance of organizational patterns in writing. Middle school learners examine information for a research topic, sort the information they found, and create a thoughtful organizational pattern.
Get to the Meat of the Topic
Students focus on narrowing topics in order to find an appropriate research topic for a research paper on meat. In this research skills lesson, students brainstorm about meat, using various topics/subtopics of meat. Students access an online search engine to search meat and peruse subdivisions. Students come up with two different research questions on health aspects and find an article that answers the question.
Advanced 4: Searching for Evidence for Research Tasks
Research was very different in the past. Pupils once had difficulty finding sufficient information, but now they have the opposite problem. Show your class how to pick the best resources out of the millions of sites an online search will bring up. The class will practice using Google Scholar, a great resource for class members with high reading levels. Allow partners to play around with Google Scholar and compare the results to a general Google search. In addition, class members can find other tools to help with research and try out a challenge presented by the teacher. A useful presentation is included as is a supplementary handout on search tools.
Intermediate 4: Searching for Evidence for Research Tasks
Online resources take many forms: blogs, search engines, news websites, documents, wikis. In order to conduct effective research, pupils should become familiar with different formats so that they can more easily choose suitable sites for their information. This resource includes a useful handout and describes a categorizing activity for small groups. To make the lesson more meaningful, teach it during a research project and ask class members to relate their searching to their projects.
Brainstorming Research Questions
Students examine and participate in an inquiry process. They brainstorm recall, comprehension, and synthesis questions for a research topic, and write the questions on sentence strips.
Research for Real
Fifth graders research a topic of their choice using the Internet and databases that are found in the media center. They evaluate the resources and follow a process to create a research paper.
Students analyze a graphic from an article and predict what the article might be about. After reading an article, they discover a journalist's experience of traveling across the United States to compare fast food restaurants. They brainstorm ideas for their own narrative and research the topic to write an article.
Brainstorming is a key part of the research and writing process. Class members follow step-by-step directions for an educational software product that helps them record their ideas for research. It even converts a graphic organizer into an linear outline! Samples, links, extensions, and adaptations are provided with this resource.
Students brainstorm topics and categories that might be covered by the International Polar Year. After reading an article, they consider the subjects that are going to be studied there. Using the internet, they research a particular project and create an oral presentation to share their information with the class.
Learners explore how language shapes debate by researching the names and tags both advocates and opponents use when discussing a topical issue. For homework, they create name collages and write prose poems.
Declarations of Independence
Students examine what they know about American Indians past and present, then research key issues facing American Indian tribes today. To synthesize their learning, students write letters taking the perspective of an American Indian.
Developing a Research Strategy - Define Your Topic
Your budding scholars spent the day in the library looking for a topic for their research essay, and now they are all in tears because there is too much information available on their topics. Wipe those tears away with the ideas and activities available in this resource. Developing writers collaborate, and break down large topics (WWII, terrorism, skateboarding) by brainstorming aspects, events, and associations proceeding from the topic. From their discoveries, happy learners develop a more specific and manageable topic for their writing.
The Research Process: A Dress Rehearsal
Ninth graders perform research in this unique form of a lesson. They use this time as practice for creating a formal research presentation. Students choose a topic and narrow it down and brainstorm ways to present the information found.
Research for Real
Fifth graders select a topic for research. They locate facts from the Internet, books, and articles. Students evaluate and classify the information gathered. Students list the main ideas and details on note cards. They prepare a bibliography of sources used.
THE RESEARCH PAPER
Fifth graders complete a research paper with the conventions of either the MLA or APA formats. They survey a subject, select a topic, conduct research, develop a plan and write a research paper. In addition, a variety of resources are used to obtain the needed information to write the research paper.