Getting your students to come up with good research questions is one of the most important stages of the process. I can’t stress this enough! Inquiry is at the heart of this project and without a strong student-created question to guide the projects your students will flounder.
Here’s a thoughtful and detailed article from a teacher-librarian that summarizes lots of what you’ll need to know to help support your students in their research.
And here’s a video I made outlining the three elements of a good question, which I adapted from the post above. A good research topic is Desirable (the student wants to research it), Viable (it fits the criteria of the assignment, in this case meaning that a student is comfortable sharing it publicly), and Feasible (capable of being finished in the time frame). I also should have added Liable, since one student wanted to make bombs and I had to explain why that was a bad idea due to legal ramifications.
*This video has a lot of room for improvement from a quality perspective. It was my first attempt at a screencast, don’t laugh!
A colleague of mine found success using the the S.M.A.R.T. goals mnemonic: research topics should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive.
To complete Stage Five of The Awesome Project, create your own worksheet, short YouTube lecture, slideshow, or other product that will teach your students about how to create good questions. Post a link to your product in the comments section below.
Respond thoughtfully to the ideas of another learner who has already posted in the comments by asking them a clarifying question or building on their ideas. (Or if you are the first learner ask me a clarifying question in the comment section.)
Before you reach the next stage you have one a few tech skills to learn / brush up on. Click on the lightbulb to move forward.
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