Lesson Plan

Narrow Down A Big Topic For Research

Questions or problems can be revised as needed to arrive at a manageable topic for inquiry.
Tracey W.
Media specialist/librarian
P.S. Is 54
Bronx, United States
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Students will know and be able to revise questions or problems to arrive at a manageable topic for inquiry. Students will revise the question or problem as needed to arrive at a manageable topic for inquiry. 

Social Studies
Grades 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Mini Lesson

Activity: Exploring
  • Students have previously had lessons on the Connect and Wonder phases of inquiry.
  • Explain:  The Internet is too big – too much information
  • Incredible shrinking topic – Narrowing down your ideas
  1. The History of the World
  2. U.S. History
  3. U.S. wars
  4. The Civil War
  5. Battle of the Civil War
Student Instructions

Students will turn and practice accountable talk as to what their topics are.

2 Guided

Activity: Reading
  • Table of Contents as well as a book index can be helpful in selecting subtopics. 
  • Model filling out part of assessment  sample with Illegal Immigration as the topic.
Student Instructions

Students will work in groups and highlight the subtopics on the photocopied table of contents and fill in the balance of the assessment. Students will use : Immigration: Opposing Viewpoints published by Greenhaven Press and Immigration by Herbert M. Levine.

3 Independent / Sharing / Assessment

Activity: Investigating

Students will look through a variety of books on a main topic they already selected and narrow their topics using assessment

Student Instructions

Students in need of extra support work in pairs.Students will have an opportunity to share their completed assessment.