Independent Research

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Why Independent Research?

Even Google believes in giving their employees time to pursue their own passions. Referred to as 20% time, employees produce/create products that will enhance the company. GMAIL was a byproduct of this time.

If you are wondering, "What do I do with my higher level students when they are finished with work," independent research may be the answer.


  • Naturally differentiates through students' interest
  • Purposeful activity for students who complete work early
  • Incentive for completing work
  • Provides a creative outlet
  • Enhances presentation skills when products are shared
  • Reference skills are embedded
  • Increases exposure to non-fiction text which is often a challenge on STAAR

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How Do I Get Started?

Keep it simple. The easier it is for you, the more likely you will continue.

  • If you meet with students through Daily Five or Guided Reading,this is a perfect way to facilitate an independent study
  • If you have enrichment time embedded in your schedule, students could work on their independent study
  • Meet with students once a week to review their progress
  • Provide them a calendar and discuss due dates
  • Provide them a rubric of expectations after the research proposal is completed

Click on the links below for an idea of each phase of an independent project. There are many of these available online that are far more fancy and complex.

Independent Research Proposal

Independent Research Answers and Sources

Independent Research Interesting Facts and Sources

Independent Research Rubric

More Resources: