Identifying and Developing a Topic Teacher Resources
Find Identifying and Developing a Topic educational ideas and activities
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Marine Protected Areas
Students design a research project about a Marine Protected Area they chose. In this marine biology lesson, students gather fish count and catch data then graph them. They create an information poster about their findings.
The Called Themselves the K.K.K.; The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
How did Ku Klux Klan develop and flourish in the US? How did the government respond to acts of terrorism conducted by the KKK following the Civil War? How does the government respond to acts of terrorism today? This resource launches a study of terrorism and government response. Richly detailed, the plan includes links, photographs, and worksheets. A powerful resource.
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
Use the historical account of Claudette Colvin to study civil rights and connect past injustices to modern issues. As learners read, they examine chapter titles, record quotes, and participate in discussion. Use any of the great prompts provided, including post-reading questions. Although this process is designed to accompany a text, it is valuable on its own. Learners finally research active participants in the Civil Rights Movement and brainstorm currently oppressed groups.
Newspapers in the Digital Age
Is journalism more or less reliable with the influx of Internet sources? Learners investigate the issues of freedom of speech, journalistic ethics, and social responsibility in the age of Twitter and Facebook. After examining the Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, and the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, class members engage in socratic seminars and develop speeches in which they present their views on the responsibilities of today’s journalists.
Students examine the unique and diverse historical artifacts that people have designed to fulfill their everyday needs in extraordinary ways. They identify ways humans have used design throughout history to enhance the ways they meet their basic needs. Students analyze why people have a need to design new objects and new technologies to meet their basic needs. They also develop an appreciation for the unique and diverse artifacts that people have created to meet their basic needs.
Facing the Ghosts of Our Past
A reading of a New York Times review of the movie Beloved launches research into how the Civil War affected the lives of people living during this period. Creative thinkers select a person from an included list of historical figures and others involved in the war, and craft a first-person narrative. A list of questions that writers should try to answer in their narratives is included.
Light and Elements
Here is a full-fledged investigation of light waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, and element spectra. Physicists research a scientist that contributed to our understanding of the behavior of light. They take notes on your lecture, and then they experiment in the lab with the spectra of different elements. They use equations to calculate wavelenghts. Although the lesson write up and handouts are not the most attractive, they are comprehensive and make a complete mini-unit on electromagnetic spectra.
Good introductory paragraphs hook the reader’s attention, explain the purpose of the paper, express the writer’s opinion about the topic, and indicate the main arguments that the writer will use to support the opinion. Follow the script provided by this resource to model for your class crafting an introductory paragraph. Young writers then use this formula to develop the introductory paragraph for their research papers.
Big Arky, A Real Arkansas Monster
Middle schoolers examine the world of the Arkansas alligator and topics that are related to wetland environments. They pay attention to the relationship between geography, climate, environment, and the animals who live there. A role-play scenario is set up where groups of learners must assess the impacts of the construction of an industrial plant on a nearby wetland. This fine lesson is well worth taking a look at and considering for implementation with any class, not just those in Arkansas!
Andalusia: The Home of Flannery O'Connor
Here’s a great adjunct to a study of the stories of Flannery O’Connor. It offers background information on O’Connor, research topics, links to research sources, and a list of terms associated with her writings. For those living in the Milledgeville area, information about tours of Andalusia, O’Connor’s home, is also provided.
Interview a College Graduate
What better way to work on research skills while gaining an understanding of college life, than conducting an interview? High Schoolers interview a college graduate, document their findings, and use the information to write an essay on the topic of college life.
Temperate Rainforest in thePacific Northwest
Explore the amazing temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. Your class starts by investigating the animals and plants of the Northwest, specifically Washington, and then they research an animal population common to the area. In small groups, they create informative presentations that address research topics as well as to provide suggestions on how to conserve the region.
Divide your geography class into groups and have each research an assigned region. The result of this project is a regional magazine that addresses the five themes of geography. Many valuable resource links are embedded into the page including sample calendars for timing, book lists, evaluation forms, handouts, and more!
Lesson Plan: Stories of Home on My Home
Learners research the Lakota tribes, culture, art, and family life. They analyze an installation piece created by a Lakota Indian, and connect what they see to the concept of home. They engage in a discussion, creative writing activity, and finish by making a tipi that tells the story they wrote, and present it to the class. This does not include a rubric.
Worksheet for Choosing a Research Paper Topic & Developing a Thesis Statement
How do you choose a research topic? This helpful graphic organizer is provided to aid middle and high schoolers in organizing their initial thoughts and choosing a topic. They have to narrow their topic by culture, time frame, event, etc., and brainstorm sources they can look at first.
Inspiration®: Mind Maps: Tapping Prior Knowledge and Developing Ideas
Mind mapping can be a great way to organize research in a visual way! Using Inspiration® software, learners create branches of topics and subtopics surrounding an area of interest. If you don't have this program, the visual approach to research here still makes this activity valuable. There is a pre-made diagram they can use to get started, and an example makes modeling simple. Researchers organize information using visuals, hyperlinks, text, and even an outline view.
Mind Maps: Tapping Prior Knowledge & Developing Ideas
How do you help learners determine what they already know about a topic? What questions require further research? Inspiration® software offers a detailed approach to using their mind map template that supports research and the writing process. Links to other apps, adaptations and extensions are included.
Animal Research: A Multimedia Approach
Explore the animal kingdom from the safety your classroom. Intended to build on previous learning about ecosystems, this lesson plan involves students working in pairs to research their favorite animal and present their findings to the class. Though this resource includes a only very general procedural outline, it does provide key steps and considerations needed to support learners' success. This project is very reliant on technology, so be sure you have access to computers, Internet, word processing and presentation software, and a projector. If unfamiliar with any of this technology, be sure to provide your class with the necessary supplemental lessons. A great idea for a collaborative project that can be applied to a variety of different subjects.
New! Express Yourself Lesson Seed 10: Character Development
Make a study of Timothy and his development as a character over the course of the first half or so of The Cay. This idea focuses in particular on chapters 10 through 12. Learners start out by working on double-entry journals created in an earlier lesson. Next, they discuss Timothy and make a list of what the know about his background. Finally, they use this list and any other help you provide to write an analytical response to a provided prompt about Timothy.
Is That a Fact?
Investigate popular scientific claims and gather evidence to defend or argue against an author's stance. Writers synthesize information and compose their own "Really?" columns modeled after those found in the weekly "Science Times" section of the New York Times. The lesson reinforces the development of clear arguments as well as the use of appropriate evidence and details to support claims.