9WL Research inquiry

With the remaining weeks of the year you have an opportunity to research any topic of interest and present your findings to the class. You may work in groups of up to three people or by yourself (whatever you prefer). The purpose of the project is to find a topic you are interested in and teach the class something about it.

The stages of the project
external image sherlock.jpg

The project has 5 key stages:
  1. Deciding on a topic to research
  2. Writing some Focus Questions which your project will answer
  3. Gathering evidence by researching the topic
  4. Creating a presentation
  5. Creating a learning activity for the rest of the class to complete
  6. Delivering the presentation and learning activity to the class

Stage One: Choosing a topic

The topic must relate to a Social Science (for example History, Geography, Social Studies, Classical Studies). You have a considerable degree of freedom - so make interesting choices!

Examples of some possible topics include:

  1. Explaining why an individual from History was significant. This can be because of contributions in the field of science, technology, music, warfare, leadership etc. You will need to describe the reasons they rose to prominence (was it because of luck, their personal qualities, their natural brilliance etc), and the extent to which they had an impact on the world in their lifetime and today.
    • Adolf Hitler
    • Genghis Khan
    • Napoleon
    • Thomas Edison
    • Karl Marx
    • Joan of Arc
    • Beethoven
    • Rosa Parks
    • Martin Luther King

2. Explaining why an historical event was important. This could be because of its impact on people or society. You will need to explain the causes and consequences of the event.
    • The bombing of Hiroshima
    • September 11
    • The Christchurch Earthquake
    • The Pompeii Eruption
    • Krakatoa Eruption
    • Mount St Helens Eruption

3. Different times, different lives. Pop into your Tardis and explore a period of History, but do it through the eyes of two very different groups (e.g. Men versus Woman, Black versus White, Free versus Slave, Rich versus Poor). Describe what life was like for the different groups and (here's a challenge) explain why groups who lacked money, power etc were kept in line or accepted their position.

    • Ancient Greece
    • Apartheid Era South Africaexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTdCG2uCWuwR2XF30av4RYF_tmLbvy6CLW4QaeZ2Eo9aVhLcNKwIA
    • Russia under the Tsars
    • Southern States of America in the 1950s

4. Describe the possible impact of a modern social issue. You will need to be able to describe the causes of the issue, the impact it might have and some of the potential solutions.
    • Climate change
    • The threat of groups like Isis.
    • The potential spread of Ebola
    • The loss of privacy in the digital age
    • Cyber warfare
    • Child labour in the production of products like chocolate
    • Racism
    • Homophobia


Stage Two: Focus questions

Each group needs to come up with three BIG questions that their presentation will answer. These need to be in the opening slide of the presentation. A BIG question cannot be answered with a single word or a list of facts. It requires some development and explanation. Examples of phrases that start good BIG questions include:

  • Explain why....
  • To what extent did...
  • Explain the differences...

Stage Three: Gathering evidence

Although the assignment does not call for a Bibliography try to use a range of different sources (not just Wikipedia)

Stage Four: The Presentation

You can choose any of the following types of presentation to make to the class:

  1. A Google Documents slideshow
  2. A chart or poster
  3. A play
  4. A speech
  5. An educational game
  6. Glogster
  7. A video
  8. A website
  9. Interpretive dance with narrated voice-over

If you have another presentation idea discuss it with me first.

Any images used should be appropriate. Graphic images are neither appropriate or acceptable. Generally speaking, using 'Safe Search' in Google Images is a good idea.

Your presentation should not involve someone standing there reading a lot of script off a PowerPoint. This is lazy and dull to watch. The presentation should be in your own words and PowerPoint slides should be a combination of text and images (not a 'wall of text' copied from a website)

Stage Five: The Learning Task

This needs to be an activity people can complete during or just after your presentation. Examples of learning tasks include:

  1. A cloze to complete as people watch your presentation
  2. A quiz
  3. A crossword puzzle
  4. A 'match the terms' exercise

Stage Six: Presenting to the class

Relevant content. Not all Focus questions are answered but at least one has been answered in depth. Answers may be general with not much evidence being used.
In-depth coverage. All Focus questions are answered, two are answered in-depth. Evidence is used throughout.
Comprehensive coverage of all three Focus Questions. May go beyond the Focus Questions to put topic in a broader context. Extensive use of evidence.
Presentation and
Presentation is reasonably well-designed. May contain spelling errors, missing text etc on some slides, several slides without text and/or images. Delivery is attempted.
Well-presented. Very few errors. Delivery is confident OR there is clear evidence that delivery of the presentation has been rehearsed or planned.
Presentation has flair and contains well-chosen images etc. Delivery is confident and either adds additional information OR is clearly not reliant upon the presentation (very limited amount of time spent reading off the screen)
Learning Activity
Completed and most of the Focus Questions are included. May be basic (e.g. a word find)
Contains an effective summary of the content. A student could look at the Learning Activity and revise key ideas of the presentation from it.