–Introductory Question: In your journal answer the following question, Do you think it’s possible to think of everything to ask ahead of time when trying to determine an answer to a question? Reflect on the variables involved when answering a question. For example, is the answer objective or subjective, does the size of the group impact the answers, what about the audience you choose to survey.
–Have students share with their group and then share with the class. Use the whiteboard to compile a list of answers, including all answers to later be determined if they are valid or not. Review any vocabulary words that students seem uncertain about (some won’t remember the difference in objective and subjective).
–As a class, discuss the final project expectations. Answer any questions students may have regarding what they are expected to do, both as individuals and as group members.
–Each group comes up with a discussion question topic they want to focus on. All members of the group must agree. Choose your topic from the choices given in Days 1-3 (pages 199-200). Groups must present their topic to the teacher for approval and clarification. *This is necessary because some students will not be clear on how to create a discussion question. I do not want them to continue in a process that isn’t going to work.
–Once teacher has approved their leading question as it falls under the topics, have students contribute questions to the survey in order to gather the data necessary to answer the research question. *All students must contribute to this.
–After students have come up with their questions, have each group member go to a group member from a different group and try out their questions. Have students write down any issues they have when the other student tries to answer their questions. Once everyone has had a chance to try out their questions on someone else, reconvene with their original groups and modify the questions based on what they learned from this exercise.
–Next, have the students design the final research questions based on all of the information they have accumulated.
–Wrap-Up: In your journal, How did you determine what research questions to use. How did talking to other students impact your decisions?
–ADVICE: I haven’t had time to actually implement this lesson in my class, so I wonder if they will be able to narrow down the topic enough to make a viable survey.
–IDEAS for Modification: Use the same topic for everyone since my students are middle schoolers and help walk them through the process as a class. I really think they will struggle with coming up with their own questions.
–ADD’L RESOURCES: Maybe show some current event news clips on the topic selected, so students can understand the impact of the topic and what questions they might create. I think they will have a hard time with the impact of the topics given in the book.