Conducting Research Teacher Resources
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Making inferences about the 2000 presidential election
“Hanging chads.” While these two words may be infamous to most of us, few middle schoolers understand their importance to the presidential election of 2000. As an exercise in drawing inferences, class members examine a Mini Page article about the changes made in political policies and election laws prior to the 2004 election. They make inferences and then check the validity of their assumptions by conducting research. Directions for the activity, links to required resources, assessments, and modifications are included in the detailed packet.
Things Fall Apart: Research, Writing & Presentation Project
A great resource for your unit on Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Small groups conduct research about related topics (list included), write papers, present PowerPoint slide shows, and take a student-created test. Fill in a few gaps to support writing and presentation skills if you have grade-level writers. Project will take several weeks with library research, computer lab time to write and create slide shows, and to give presenters class time to practice.
Students examine why some countries are rich while others remain poor. They view a video on the website, Guns, Germs and Steel, analyze primary sources to conduct research about plants and animals, and create a game based on their research.
Students view and discuss a video segment to discover the importance of researching a topic before writing about it. They use the topic of plants to research information by looking through picture books and observing potted plants in the classroom.
Researching an Author
Students research works by a contemporary author of their choice, choosing one in particular upon which to focus, conducting research relating to that work. They create a brochure utilizing Microsoft Publisher then share their brochure in class presentation.
The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on Veterans and Their Families
As far back as your scholars can remember, their country has been at war. Be sure they understand the various implications of this global conflict by presenting personal stories of veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) on the front lines. They watch video clips about TBI, filling out a viewing guide as they go. There are great informational handouts to educate military families about this under-diagnosed condition, possibly with the goal of creating an outreach. Check out the extension ideas for further research plans. It's best to find this instructional activity on the PBS website by entering "POV TBI" into the search engine, as the viewing guide and videos are actually linked there.
Lesson: Snake Handling
Are the studies of art and archeology connected? You bet they are! Young scholars research the ancient temples of Mexico by visiting an archaeology site. They describe the various temples they see, taking note of shapes, stairs, details, and ornamentation. They analyze an artifact called Serpent Heads and use it as inspiration for a collaborative project. They make and decorate temples, just like the temples in Mexico!
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.
Students investigate parasites and the diseases they can cause and carry. They read and discuss an article, conduct research, and create a fictional studenT story about the parasite they researched.
Fahrenheit 451- The Granger Experiment
Young scholars read the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. They then conduct research on British and American literature from 1800 to the present and select a book that they believe is important and should survive in the event that all books and literary resources are destroyed. They memorize and recite a portion of the work they have selected and justify their book's importance to humanity based on the research they have conducted.
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Past, Present, and Future
Young scholars conduct research on the Chesapeake Bay, from Captain John Smith's explorations of Native American settlements to the present. They examine the interrelationships between people and places and how they change over time.
Counting on the Havoc of Hurricanes
Students define and classify all the different ways in which numbers are used in forecasting and coping with the effects of a hurricane. They conduct research to compare and contrast these numbers as they apply to Hurricane Floyd and
Students design and print an educative pamphlet addressing Wildcat Dumping in their community by conducting research. They conduct a survey by investigating local occurrences of Wildcat Dumping and collecting data to share with the community about this illegal activity.
Are Sharks as Dangerous as We Think They Are?
Students conduct research to address the question, "Are sharks as dangerous as we think they are?" They present their findings in oral presentations.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage
Students identify and describe traits that represent Hispanic cultures, research and analyze traditions and culture of Hispanic Americans, read observations Hispanics make about their identity, conduct research on issues of identity and heritage, formulate interview questions based on reading materials, summarize contributions of Hispanic Americans, and write biography about accomplished American that includes information on heritage and identity.
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.
Researchers on the Go (Topic: Alcohol Addiction
Eighth graders research the Internet to find information about how alcohol effects the liver. They talk about how alcohol consumption affects behavior and write a report with the research information.
Start Your Engines: An Internet Research Lesson
Fifth graders engage in a lesson which offers informational how-tos for conducting research on the Internet. Three search engines are introduced and used to gather information to solve a specific problem.
Hidden Stories: A Three-Part Lesson in African-American History, Research, and Children’s Literature
Groups of high school learners conduct research on a particular era of African-American history, focusing on events, people, and places important to that era. Next, they review children's literature in four different genres. As a culminating activity, group members combine what they have learned in their research and readings to create their own piece of children's literature based on African-American history.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Research
Students conduct research to find out the shape and location of a constellation as well as the mythological origin of its name. They create PowerPoint presentations to share their findings with fellow students.