teach research paper high school

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Teach research paper high school


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Teach research paper high school Can you make your paper clearer or easier to understand? Facts are more important than ever In times of uncertainty, good decisions demand good data. Do not go outside this realm. Students already know the cover letter purchasing agent they just don't know that they do. Over the next couple of weeks we will read a different Anansi trickster tale each day and take notes about the relevant history, conventions, variations, and character motives involved. Share this page with your network.
Teach research paper high school 217

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We called this the fun reward to follow the hard work of researching. Students were encouraged to:. Presenting to an audience: Student presentations were delivered to the rest of the class over the final lessons. Those delivering theirs earlier were taken aside and given presentation tips.

Each group took questions from the audience following their presentation. I also gave feedback, where appropriate, to the class after each presentations which was focused on what students were doing well. Ongoing feedback enabled students presenting later to refine theirs and again emphasised the task as an ongoing learning process, as opposed to just the end product. Some Presentation Tips given to students were: — Modulate voices emphasising key parts — Raising and project their voices not to be shy — To scan the room as they present, rather than looking in one spot — Put presenter breaks vertical lines in their notes….

In every situation that I have created a similar student-centred task, the most significant outcome is the high quality of student work. Students learn a lot from research and creating presentations which, I explain later, can be adapted to encompass the teaching of entire units of work. I have included below a good range of examples of student presentations along with their presenter research notes:.

Tangiwai Disaster — Notes. Te Rauparaha — Notes. What are the Auckland Islands? When students are hands-on and re-creating knowledge they become highly engaged. Furthermore, requiring students to present their work to an audience makes them accountable, and the commitment level rises.

One of the goals of this research task was to reduce plagiarism while the students gather and organise information. All student work was passed through a plagiarism checker Plagscan and the above presentations recorded the following results:. Note: The Te Rauparaha research includes the words to his Haka Maori ceremonial war dance — plagiarism reduced to 0. Others to reduce due to direct quotations were Titokowaru Obviously some students still need to refine their skills, but considering that this was the first time the majority had completed their research in this way, it was a very pleasing result.

The average plagiarism level for the above assignments, after removing my own Farewell Spit presentation and factoring in the use of quotations, is a remarkable 4. At the completion of this task I often ask the class how many would feel confident enough to research and present a topic to an audience of adults in an outside organisation if they were ever asked.

The large majority of students respond positively which they of course would never have prior to the task. The skills they have learned during this task gives them confidence and the capacity to repeat the process in more complex ways. Of course it is a progression, however they are now on an important pathway, many finding that they actually enjoyed the learning experience.

In short, the students have learned to think at a higher level, use text to express ideas, organised and self-managed their workload to meet a deadline, and improved their relationship skills by participating and contributing in collaboration with their research partner and other students in their class. Each of the five key competency requirements of the New Zealand curriculum have been met, enabling students to become more confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners.

This approach would be far more effective if adopted school-wide. I mentioned in my previous article on plagiarism that students need to regularly practice the skill of gathering and organising research. Here are some examples of how the task I have described above could be remodelled in different ways:.

From these examples one can plainly see that research based inquiry tasks can be redesigned to suit a wide range of curriculum learning areas and abilities while enabling students to present their work in a variety of ways. In essence, these student-centred inquiry examples extend the role of the student to that of a researcher and teacher, something that I intend writing about in a later article.

The New Zealand Curriculum: Key competencies. I still want my students to do the basic research needed for their future science and history classes, but I want them to be able to analyze a piece of literature with the ability the author intended for his or her readers to bring to bear.

I want my students to be able to find others who agree with their contentions and also to see the point of view of those who disagree. A study of folk stories from various cultures around the world is extremely appropriate for World literature, and when the syllabus is structured regionally instead of chronologically, the six to eight weeks spent on the research paper are continually relevant. While seniors respond well to creation stories and various other types of folk mythology, one character has consistently held their attention: the trickster.

According to Wikipedia online, a trickster is "a , goddess, spirit, human or anthropomorphic animal who plays or otherwise disobeys normal rules and norms of behaviour. Any given day, a walk through the halls will reveal shirts with Bart Simpson holding a gun or stack of cash, Pacino as Scarface, any number of Looney Toon characters misbehaving, and even occasionally Sesame Street puppets again, doing something unseemly.

My school's culture reveres the con artist or anyone who can get one over on "the man". Why should I not use this fascination to further my agenda, the bulking up of these kids' brains? I have had no problem keeping students engaged when sharing various trickster tales during story time with children's books, having them write original tales in the style of a kid's book, and even staging performances of original trickster tale puppet shows.

It therefore seems obvious to me that combining the trickster with my—and their—least favorite assignment, the dreaded research paper, could be a way to sugar-coat the pill. Tricksters appear in folktales from almost all cultures. They can be varied in form, usually appearing as an animal, man or some combination thereof.

Popular forms include, but aren't limited to, a spider-man, coyote, raven, rabbit or leprechaun. Tricksters are usually trying to pull one over on another character, usually a larger or "superior" creature. Often they get away with it; occasionally they are tricked in turn. The best of the tricksters, including the modern American incarnation—the confidence man—can trick a character out of a prize without said character realizing he's been had.

William Hynes and William Doty, in their introduction to Mythical Trickster Figures: Contours, Contexts and Criticisms, list several correspondences in regards to trickster's traits beginning with:. The fundamentally ambiguous and anomalous personality of the trickster. In Campbell Reesman's book Cristiano Grotannelli "supports this dualistic view of the trickster's creative consistency-and-irregularity: 'Prometheus is the ultimate example of the duplicity of tricksters; criminal and savior, guilty and heroic, impure and sacred, antagonist and mediator.

The trickster proliferates in modern culture in such various forms as Wile E. Students already know the character; they just don't know that they do. Many trickster tales, mostly oral in tradition, share remarkably similar characteristics. A "gum man" appears in the South American story Love and Roast Chicken , a "tar baby" appears in the American slave tales of Brer Rabbit, and the southwestern United States character Coyote gets stumped by a lump of pitch 4.

For my students the recognition of these similarities leads to the realization that the stories traveled by way of the slave trade routes. With some having slave ancestors, my students really enjoy discussing the tradition of oral tales and the passing on of stories to preserve culture.

The trickster lends himself so well to the research project because he is everywhere in a rich literature. After students have a foundation of knowledge about the trickster and background on his stories they will be able to find him featured in literature as well as in subtle references. It is an exciting time for a teacher when the students start making the leaps without help.

In her book on myth in American culture, Jeanne Campbell Reesman states: "writers in many traditions have made trickster an elusive but ever-present character in American literature. As half of the senior English class consists of British literature, finding the trickster in Shakespeare and Chaucer becomes a fun challenge for the students. My students love to see that death is the one tricking the three drunken rioters in "The Pardoner's Tale".

As we move forward in time we begin to study areas culturally and find a plethora of folk tales involving him as Iktomi and Coyote in the southwestern United States, Raven in the northwestern U. If we have time we will culminate our study with a film depicting a modern confidence man, as in Matchstick Men. In order for the research paper to address relevant standards, the structure will be the same for each student.

The first part of the paper will address the trickster and trickster tale in general. This will allow for cooperative learning, as well as ease in using research facilities. Because Washington has a very weak media center, I inevitably spend two or three weekends at the downtown Atlanta Public Library helping students do their research. When several students can share the research materials, I find they stay at the library longer and find the assignment less isolating. Students will research and compose an original research project which will prepare them for freshman level English at a four year university.

Students will compose an original literature-based research paper utilizing the Modern Language Association citation format. Students will evaluate media to distinguish between scholarly or other appropriate sources and unsubstantiated opinion. Students will complete a thesis, introduction, bibliography cards, note cards, outline, and a rough draft.

Students will read a novel of their choice and identify trickster characters, identifying possible reasons for why the author chose this character. Students will compose a series of letters to the instructor concerning what they have read and how they feel about what they have read. Students will compare and contrast the trickster character of their piece of literature with the tricksters we study as a class.

Students will research the background of the trickster and the culture s from which he comes; they will then make connections with the piece of literature they have read. Students will present findings to the class utilizing all public speaking conventions. Students will create visual aides consisting of maps and artifacts of their chosen culture. Students will compose an original script for a trickster tale in the form of a puppet show. Students will create puppets utilizing various materials.

Students will perform an original play incorporating the conventions of trickster stories. I plan to introduce the trickster unit to the students by sharing with them various trickster tales from around the globe. In the following days, a list of books, plays, poems, and short stories will be available for the students to study, and by the end of the week they will have chosen their piece of literature.

While we are examining the Ashanti culture and going through the research paper process, students will be reading and taking notes on their literary pieces. They will be identifying trickster characters in the pieces and doing research on the author. Earlier in the year we will have reviewed the conventional elements of literature, so students will know what to look for.

Over the next couple of weeks we will read a different Anansi trickster tale each day and take notes about the relevant history, conventions, variations, and character motives involved. Also, we'll complete a brief cultural study of the Ashanti tribe in Western Africa.

Basically, as a class we will complete the first part of the research paper together. Thanks to inclusion, the skill levels in an average senior English class may range from 3rd grade reading level to college level. This makes teaching a research paper a very difficult thing.

Also, since it is not necessary to pass the previous year's English class before being promoted to senior English, many students have never acquired even the basic, fundamental research skills needed to complete a complex page paper. Owing to the very wide range of skill levels in each of my classes, some students will regurgitate what we discuss in class in their paper. Most of these students don't end up going to a four year university, so I don't feel that I'm robbing them of anything if they do nothing more sophisticated.

At least they have gone through the motions of writing a research paper for any future schooling they may choose. I am usually fully aware of which of my students are headed to college because of information about them in surveys, prior writing assignments and many letters of recommendation. While I don't feel I can fairly require these students to research a different culture than that which we study in class, I will strongly encourage them to explore a different culture.

As certain aspects of the rubric will be subjective, the student's willingness to rise to the challenge will be factored in. Also, during this period students will be reading their choice of literature from my reading list. In order to monitor students' reading progress, we will exchange a series of letters—probably five or six—over three weeks' time. In each one to two page letter, students will tell me about major plot events and the characters to which they have been introduced.

They will predict where they think the plot will go, and, if some sort of intrigue has arisen, they will determine character motives, including who the possible tricksters are and what role they will play. When we have done similar assignments in the past, the students have enjoyed rereading their letters after they have finished the books and seeing what assumptions were correct or off base and which predictions came to pass. Three Saturdays during this period of time will be spent at the Auburn Avenue library of African American studies in downtown Atlanta.

Acquiring a library card is a homework assignment the first week of school, so all children will have access to this fantastic resource. I will spend each Saturday from 10 a. In a perfect world the students could look up the books they need online prior to our Saturdays; however, internet is limited in my room and with temperamental computers it is easier to go through the research process at the actual library.

I fax a copy of the assignment sheet and rubric to the librarian ahead of time so that students who work there on Saturdays get quality help. I help them locate the proper books needed, we sit at a large reserved table, and I help them write out bibliography citations and note cards. Since several students will not study African tricksters or pieces of literature, we will split our time between Auburn and the main downtown library, which also has an extensive reference collection.

While all of this research is going on outside of class we will be preparing the thesis statement, bibliography cards, note cards, and outlines in class. Students will also be reviewing all punctuation rules and sentence structure rules. We will have a mini-lesson on commonly confused words and a fun spell check lesson similar to the one passed around through email. As a class, we will read the first page of several sample research papers from all subjects and writing levels, and the students will identify the thesis statements.

Up until now our students have been writing essays and their thesis statements have been something like: If I went to Mars and could only bring one item with me it would be my computer so I could listen to music, play on the internet, and email all of my friends.

While this passes as a thesis statement for a short, but not very good, essay, it lacks style. Style and voice are what we will work on over the next few days. Students will learn that in a research paper the thesis statement may take up several sentences.

Parallel structure rules will be reinforced in this lesson. We will look at several research papers, written in various ways, that still convey relevant information. Bibliography cards are one of the most important lessons we learn in preparing to write. Our bibliography cards are arranged as follows: upper right corner, number in numerical order starting with the first source you find; bottom left corner, location of the source, e. This is the time when we focus on appropriate sources.

The students and I usually surf the internet looking for sites on aliens. We evaluate the sites on how realistic they seem and then search to find out who put them on the web. When the students see that Joe Blow from Podunk touts his site as the definitive work on alien life on this planet, they get the point. We look at the suffixes of web addresses and what they mean by looking up whitehouse. That also drives home the point of misinformation on the web as well as distinguishing between an article and an advertisement.

I am with them for the trips to the library, so evaluating books and articles takes place on a one on one basis. Students will be required to turn in twenty bibliography cards. It is very important that the lesson on note cards immediately follow that on bibliography cards; otherwise students run the risk of misnumbering the cards. Each note card should be filled out as follows: upper right corner, the note card number—this should correspond with the number on the upper right of the bibliography card source in which you took the note; upper left corner, a brief summary of contents of card, e.

It is vital that students understand the logic behind numbering both sets of cards. They sometimes find it difficult to grasp that they may have ten note cards with the number This system of numbering makes the works cited page easy to do. Students will be required to turn in fifty note cards. After completing their statement of controlling purpose, the students will use their note cards to assemble their outlines.

We move desks out of the way and the students spread out on the floor, and occasionally the hall, and then "deal" their note cards. Students group their cards in the order assigned in the assignment sheet parts one, two and three and then in the subdivisions that make sense to them.

We have previously studied the outline format of Roman numerals, letters and numbers; students are now just "writing" the outline on the floor with their note cards. Outlines become a lot easier when the students can move around their ideas in space. Revisions become painless because nothing has to be rewritten; they simply move the card to a new place. Also, seeing their cards laid out next to each other helps the students to evaluate which cards have valuable information and which contain filler.

They are only required to use 15 of their cards in the actual paper, and the outline process is usually the point at which they make their decisions on which to use. Once they have found a series of ideas that makes sense to them and me, since I am making the rounds , students transfer the ideas to a sheet of paper under the proper numeral or letter.

If we have time, I will make loose Roman numerals, numbers, and lower case letters that they can manipulate along with their cards. The students will then begin on their research paper, following their outlines. The questions they need to answer in their paper are already answered in their properly ordered note cards. This will largely be completed outside of school. The paper will consist of three main parts: the trickster background, the specific cultural background of the trickster, and the literary analysis of a piece of literature featuring a trickster.

All of this information is given to the students in the intial assignment sheet; therefore, they know what to research. In the first section, after the introduction, students will look at the character of the trickster in general. Each student will answer fundamental questions such as:. How is the trickster a culture hero? What did he "do" for humanity? How can a trickster tale act as a creation myth? How do trickster tales vary by culture?

What similarities do they share? How did these similarities come to exist? Describe the evolution of the trickster. Where can he be found today? What forms of media are used to share his stories? The second part of the paper will be the breakdown of one particular culture's trickster mythology and folklore.

The students will be free to choose a culture that interests them. A less adept student may find it easier to write broadly on one Asian trickster while another may find it easier to focus on the Ashanti or Tsimshian. These are just a few of the questions students will be able to answer. This portion of the paper should cover two to three pages.

The third portion of the paper will include a two to three page literary analysis of a character from the student's selected work. The trickster found in our classroom literature does not and probably won't match up with the student's studied culture.

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