Inquiring in the 21st-Century

Steps to Becoming a 21st-Century Researcher


Use primary sources to get an overview about different controversial topics in today's society.

For example:
Animal research
Violent video games
Social networking at young ages
Junk food in schools
Childhood Obesity

(CCSS: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.)


Think about current controversial topics.
Ask Yourself:
  • What is a topic that I find interesting?
  • What are the two sides of this controversial topic?
  • How is it affecting a certain population or the world?
  • What do we need to do to help solve this problem?
  • And most importantly--is this a topic that I find intriguing?

(CCSS: Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.)


Go on an information hunt! Look for reliable sources to help answer your questions. Make sure to ask your teacher/librarian if a website is quality.

(Make sure you're finding information that is useful)

(CCSS: Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.)


Now it's time to build your information base.
  • Organize your information
  • Compare evidence
  • Draw Conclusions

(CCSS: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.)


Now it's time to express yourself!
Keep in mind that you need to:
  • Be CREATIVE in your presentation
  • Use visual, verbal, and written practice in your presentation
  • Use technology (i.e Animoto, Sliderocket, Photopeach, etc.).

(CCSS: Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.)


Now it's time to think of your accomplishment (Pros and Cons)
  • Self-reflection is a great way to learn and improve in future projects
  • Peer CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is also a great way to learn
  • Evaluate how you now feel on the topic you chose. Did your opinion change from start to finish?

(CCSS: Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.)