Lesson Plans and Worksheets
Browse by Subject
- Research Skills
Research Skills Teacher Resources
Find Research Skills educational ideas and activities
Tenth graders investigate how to conduct research without writing a research paper. In this research lesson, 10th graders work in groups to research one topic. Students break down their topic into smaller subjects and each member chooses a creative way to present their findings through an oral presentation or visual aids.
“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.
Teaching learners how to evaluate a research source is an important part of the research process. The fresh idea here is that groups first develop a list of reasons why resources should be evaluated, transform these reasons into criteria, use the criteria to develop a rubric, and then test their rubric against two resources (one reliable, one not). Although designed for teacher candidates, the process outlined would work equally well for the secondary classroom.
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 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.
Young scholars examine different global issues and share their learned information with others. Students choose a topic to research, write a research essay, conduct a survey about knowledge and attitude toward chosen topic, and create an oral and visual presentation of their researched information.
If you want to challenge your US government class, this assignment requires them to identify a contemporary issue or event that reflects the four main principles of the Constitution (federalism, separation of powers, protection of individual freedoms, adaptability/flexibility). Working in pairs, groups conduct research to prepare for a presentation to the class. This is a great exercise to measure a deeper understanding of constitutional principles.
Eighth graders use the Big6 research process to conduct research on key participants in the American Revolution including Patriots, Loyalists, and British Military figures. They read the novel Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood (or another alternative history novel). Students create American Revolution Trading Cards.
Build upon your learners' skills in research, note-taking, outlining, and expository writing, while providing them an opportunity for independent learning as they complete a literature biography project. The activity is broken down into six easy steps, from making their choice on what author to research, to the writing of the bibliography. Each step is submitted separately and builds into a portfolio. The project can be modified to explore other topics concerning the author, such as an analysis of their childhood and how that is reflected in their writing.
Learners describe the steps in the research process and identify the three requirements for a true experiment. They define independent and dependent variables. They discuss the Agriscience Student of the Year award and list the five categories of participation in the FFA Agriscience Fair.
Explore the history of the American novel in the contexts of literature and US history. How does a novel or piece of writing from a particular time showcase the mood during that historical period? After conducting research and discussing social themes and writing styles, high school writers craft an original piece in the style of an American writer.
Are you a non-ELA teacher looking to incorporate literacy skills and assignments into your curriculum? This lesson plan and its included worksheets are a great starting point for showing you how it's done. Although the lesson was originally intended to be used as part of a larger unit on genetics, the overall sequencing of the lesson as well as the rubrics, t-chart, writing and editing worksheets could all be used for a writing assignment on any topic. The lesson is very general, meaning you would have to supplement it in order to use is as intended (writing a persuasive essay on the pros and cons of cloning) but that is also what makes it a great resource to be adapted for your own specific purpose.
What do statements made by presidential candidates reveal about what they want the public to believe about them? What can be deduced about American culture and values based on these statements? Do these values change over time? How do political messages reflect these changes? Class members access three Mini Pages and examine comments made by candidates in 1979, 1988, and 1995. They then craft their own campaign commercial. Included in the packet are detailed directions for the various activities, worksheets, and links to all required sources.