Secondary Research Project : LUSENET : Middle School Science : One Thread

Hello, I am a new teacher and I would like to know if anyone can give me some ideas for a seventh grade secondary research project? I will appreciate any and all responses. Thank You, Deanna

-- Deanna ZApata (, October 04, 2000


Thanks for your question, Deanna. A number of folks have asked similar questions about the project requirements. This is a rather long-winded answer, but bear with me.

I have posted on the website a guide to the Project Requirements for grades 5-8. The following note is from the introduction:

The proposed methods for helping students produce projects are not rigid procedures that you must strictly follow. They simply represent one way of helping students arrive at and carry out a given project. The most important thing is that the projects arise from a dialog between students and teacher, and the students' observations about the world around them. (emphasis added)

Having said that, I understand your desire for concrete examples, so I will offer the following only to illustrate what kinds of questions might be answered by a secondary research project. I am making these up off the top of my head and cannot vouch for how easily one might find the necessary information. I emphasize again, that students should be guided in developing their own questions.

  • How does volcanic activity affect global or local temperatures?
  • How does climate (hot/dry, cool,/wet, hot/humid, etc) affect the way different types of rocks break down (weathering)?
  • How does heating and cooling affect the expansion and contraction of different materials?

    As a starting point, I suggest that you keep a running list of questions that students ask during instruction. Post them around the room to encourage further questioning. You might even assign asking questions/making observations for homework on a regular basis - at the beginning, middle, or end of each unit/topic that you teach. Submit some of the more interesting questions to this forum and let's see if the questions can be rephrased in a way that would be answered by doing a secondary research project. In fact, this process is a good way of getting students to ask questions for any of the project requirements.

    Please feel free to post follow-up questions if you are still unclear...and good luck!

    -- Michael Gatton (, October 05, 2000.

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