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Smart in Any Setting

 

 

 

Internet Literacy I

 

Creating Research Questions

 

Introduction

Knowing how to compose a question is an important part of effectively researching the answer. Research questions are thoughtful, open-ended questions that cannot be answered by a quick “yes” or “no.” These questions lead to a thorough investigation of an important subject. They are focused on a particular aspect of a single topic, or subject so they have to have just the right scope, or range.

During the next two weeks you will be learning strategies that will help you to create effective research questions. You will find out what research is all about, how to distinguish open-ended from close ended questions as well as how to create the perfect research question. In the process you will learn the meaning of new vocabulary words as well as how to narrow broad topics down to just the right size. These skills will be a great help as you progress through high school, college, and beyond. Activities include viewing two slide shows, creating Best Practices Cheat Sheets, participating in a discussion forum, and collaborating with teammates in a Wiki exercise.


Objectives

Knowing how to compose a question is integral to effectively researching the answer.
At the conclusion of this lesson students will:

Creating Research Questions

Pre test

Pre-Assessment Multiple-Choice Quiz

Directions: Choose the letter of the most appropriate answer.

e is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback
 Research is a careful search for new or additional information in order to learn more about a particular subject. Once the information is identified and collected it must be organized and evaluated.

e is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback
A research question is a statement that tells the reader what is being investigated. It gives your paper a purpose.  It is open-ended, relevant to the subject and is clear and researchable.

a is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback
Close-ended questions generally have only one right answer. A closed-ended question limits answers to a few words such as Yes/No or
True/ False.  Choices b, c, and d all describe open-ended characteristics.

e is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback
Open-ended questions require more than a one-word answer. They should encourage the student to offer additional insights and details by responding to the “how” and the “why.”  Choice a clearly describes a close-ended question.

c is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback
Open-ended questions invite responses that are detailed and freely thought- out.  All the other choices can be answered with a single word.

b is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback
A topic is the specific subject matter in your area of study.

d is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback
A characteristic is a quality, trait or aspect of a particular person, place, or thing.

e. All of the above

e is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback
A trait is a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person.

 

Core Curriculum Standards: Fifth Grade

The content and activities of Creating Research Questions meet the following learning standards:


Language Arts Standards: Reading of Information Texts
CCSS ELA-Literacy. RI5.4
Students will determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2c
Students will link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2d
Students will use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
New York State English Language Standards
Standard 1:

Students will read and write for information and understanding.

As readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover concepts, and relationships.

Students will ask specific questions to clarify and extend meaning.

Students will select a focus, organization, and point of view for
written presentations.

After reviewing the Learning Standards, please advance to Activity 1


Power Point
Creating Research Questions

YouTube Slide Showon“Creating Research Questions” and Best Practices Cheat Sheet
Step One
On Monday
Each student and his/ her partner will view  the YouTube slide show on Creating Research Questions. After its completion, turn to your partner and discuss your reactions, questions, and any additional concerns.  Then re-watch the show. Pause at important points in order to jot down notes.
Step 2
Working with your partner, create a list of best practices for creating research questions. Keep in mind the strategies which were highlighted in the video as well as any others you may have encountered online. Draft a “Best Practice Cheat Sheet” and include at least four best practices. With each best practice that you recommend for the cheat sheet include a one or two sentence explanation of why it’s a best practice. Post your entry on the Discussion Board by Wednesday.
Step 3
By Friday:
Coordinate with your group to combine everyone’s cheat sheet into one polished Online Cheat Sheet. Post your final copy on the Cheat Sheet Board.

Power Point Slide Show on Creating Research Questions

Research is discovering information about a topic, or subject matter that interests you.

First Step


Begin with an open-ended question. (Avoid close-ended questions that can be answered with one word).

A chance to explain how you feel about a topic.
An opportunity to include the thoughts of others on a topic.
An occasion to address the "why" and the "how' of your topic.

Second Step

Pick a topic that interests you.
For example, let's choose the topic
"Native Americans in Politics."

Third Step

Narrow the topic
I will narrow the original topic with the question:
"How many Native American politicians are there and what affects those numbers."


Fourth Step


List some open-ended questions connected to the topic
Why are there so few Native American politicians?
How does a person become a politician?
Why do some states have more native American politicians than others?

Fifth Step

Choose one of the questions and focus it. Make it more specific.
I will select “Why do some states have more Native American politicians than others?”
I will focus it into a specific Research Question:
“Why does Oklahoma have more Native Americans in politics than other states?
This streamlines the topic and makes research better.

Develop research questions by asking:
What do I already know about the topic?
What would I like to learn about the topic?

Record what you know in the K column and what you would like to find out in the W column.

1. Only one issue.
2. The “why’ and the “how’ of the topic.
3. Specific, focused words and ideas.

All research begins with a question that comes from a general topic that interests you.
It gives structure and focus to your paper.

life, death, justice, honesty, courage, responsibility, leadership,
equality, and invention

Is it relevant?
The question should have a close bearing on the topic.
Is it interesting?

Choose a topic that intrigues you. Otherwise the project could be boring.
Is it researchable?
The topic should not be too broad, or too narrow or vague.

INCH question:
How does exercise benefit 80 year olds"
Too narrow
Broaden it to:
"How does exercise affect the health of seniors?"

19, Country Mile Question
"How I feel about violence,"
The question is vague
It gives little direction. You can’t seem to find what you are looking for.
Instead:
"What are the harmful effects of movie violence on children?"

Hip Hop Dancing?
Too broad
This question requires you to research too many topics.
Apply why and how to the question.
How hip hop dancing can affect your health

Using a particular time period, gender, person, species, age, activity, or geography

22  The following examples show how to narrow broad topics
to create focused research questions

Then move to a narrow topic
then to a focused topic
And finally to a research question.

24. Broad topic: Basketball
Narrowed topic: Los Angeles Lakers
Focused topic: Players
Research question:
"What is the story of Kobe bryant's professional career?"
25. Here is a final example
Broad topic: Animals
Narrow topic: Siberian Tigers
Focused topic: Extinction
research question: Why are siberian tigers becoming extinct?

26. Well, that's the story behind research questions.
One last thought. You must know what you are looking for in order to find it.
Now turn to your partner and discuss your reactions, questions, or concerns about the slide show.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

 

On Monday and Tuesday, week 2, teams of four will use the wiki board for this exercise. Remember that Wiki’s are collaborative and all students on the team must participate.
To begin, view the “Narrowing the Topic” slide show as a team.  Afterwards discuss the content with your teammates.  Next, re watch the video and pause it at strategic points to write down notes. Once you have completed those steps you are ready to begin this part of the activity.
Team members will use “W” and “H” questions to narrow broad research topics and create a researchable question. These include Why, Where, When, Which, What, and How questions. They can also use a particular time period, gender, person, species, age, activity, or geography to refine, specify, and focus the question.
You are presented below with a number of broad topics. Choose one topic and use the “W” and “H” questions or other means to narrow it to a researchable question. You may use any combination of ‘W” and “H” and other strategies to form the researchable question. (Ideally, you should useat least four). Each team member will use the wiki board to demonstrate the narrowing process.  Members will then reach a consensus to choose the final focused research question.

Choose one topic and begin.
Automobiles through the Ages
Civil War Battles
Diabetes
Women in History
Writers of the Constitution
Indian Tribes
Children’s Authors
Slavery
Skateboarding
Famous Kings or Queens
Results will compose 20% of your grade.

Power Point Slide Show

 

3. Let’s see how this works with an example:  20
"Indian Tribes"
This topic is way too broad.
Let’s see if we can narrow it!
Which?
A particular tribe
New Topic
"The Navajo Tribe"
4. This topic is still too general   17
let’s use another of the “W” questions:
What?
What aspect of the navajo tribe?
New Topic
"the Navajo Language"
5. Let's See if we can further narrow it by asking another question.  20
When?
Current Period

Historical Era
World War II
New Topic:
"What Role did the Navajo Language play During World War II?"
6. We continue to refine the topic with our "W" and "H" questions  20
How?
We consider how Languages were used in WW11
New Topic
"How was the Navajo language used by the U.S. in WW11?"
7. Which?    19
Which way was the navajo language used
in WW11?
We can consider:
Messages
Propaganda
Codes
New topic
"Why was the Navajo Language used in codes during World War 11?
8. Final Step  19
Combine any number of questions or statements that you derived from asking these questions until you find an interesting topic to research.
Final Research question
"What Role did Navajo Language-based codes have in defeating the enemy during WW11?"

 

Broad Topic:

Gardening

What?

Vegetable Gardening

How?

How do special gardening techniques improve vegetables?

Why?

Why does hydroponic gardening improve the growth of vegetables?

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Wiki Rubric
4                           3                        2                          1


Group Work
Content/ Process

Students’ subject knowledge is excellent. Students utilize four or more “W” and/ or “H” questions or other strategies to narrow topic.

Students’ subject knowledge appears to be good. Students utilize three of the “W” and/ or “H” questions or other strategies to narrow topic.

Students’ subject knowledge is adequate. Students use two “W” and/ or “H” questions or other strategies to narrow topic.

Students’ show little or no evidence of subject matter knowledge. “W” and “H” questions or other strategies are not used effectively.

Group Work
Content / Product

Final topic question has excellent researchable breadth.

Final topic question is generally researchable.

Final topic question needs to be narrowed/ and or broadened.

Final topic question shows little or no evidence of narrowing.

Accuracy

There are no misspellings or grammatical errors in the final question.

There are three or fewer misspellings and/ or grammatical errors in the final question.

There are four misspellings and/ or grammatical errors in the final question.

There are more than four errors in spelling or grammar in the final question.

Student’s Individual Contribution to the Group.

Student contributes high quality input to the development of the research question.

Student contributes acceptable input to the development of the research question.

Student contributes minimally to the development of the research question.

Student contributes nothing of value to the development of the research question.

 

Creating Research Questions
Discussion Board
Week 2
Objectives:
Students will:

Discussion Board (for Formative Assessment purposes)
Research questions are thoughtful, open-ended questions that cannot be answered by a quick “yes” or “no.” These questions lead to a thorough investigation of an important subject. They are focused on a particular aspect of a subject so they have just the right scope.
Study the following list of research questions.

Next, analyze at least three questions and address each of the following points in your post.

Submit your post on the Discussion Board by Wednesday. Then read and respond to at least two other posts by Friday. By Sunday, read and respond to any comments made to your post.
Respond to your classmates’ posts in the following way.

Results will compose 30% of your grade.
To submit a post proceed to and click the Discussion link on the Navigation Bar. Then click “Activity 2 Discussion” link. Next,click the “Create a Thread” tab. Don’t forget to include your name with the post.

Discussion Rubric
Activity 2

 

4

3

2

1

Initial Posts

.

Student will demonstrate a proficient  understanding of the open-ended questions and researchable questions.
Student justifies remarks by referencing source material.

 

Student will show evidence of understanding the concepts of open-ended questions and researchable questions. Student generally justifies answers. He/ she misidentifies one question.

Student shows a shallow grasp of the material. Student fails to reference most responses. He/ she misidentifies two  questions.

 

Student’s post is off topic.
There is no evidence of referencing sources.

 

 

Responses

Student responses provide specific and supportive feedback. The response refers to other posts and adds to the discussion.
Student acknowledges sources.
Replies show insight, depth and understanding.

 

Student responses provide general, supportive feedback to classmates.
He/ she shows some depth of
understanding. The response is
connected to other posts or topic. 

 

Student’s simple reply or comment shows little understanding.
The replies are short and may contain some irrelevant material.

 

The student’s short responses do not refer to other posts. 
.

Expression

Student provides clearopinions and ideas effectively written with very few spelling and grammatical errors.

 

At times, student provides clear opinions and ideas. There are a few spelling and grammatical errors.

The student’s expression is unclear or interrupted by numerous spelling and grammatical errors.

The student provides unacceptable written expression.
Overall poor spelling and grammatical errors confuse the reader.

 

Creating Research Questions

Formative Assessment
Objectives
Students will:

This activity will take place on Friday
Timeframe:
45 minutes
Activity will compose 20% of your grade.
Directions:  You may refer to the videos and your notes as you participate in this activity.
Choose a topic. Using the question words of WHY, or HOW, develop at least three different questions that you would like to find answers to in regards to your topic.
STATE YOUR GENERAL TOPIC:

________________________________________

NARROWED TOPIC:

___________________________________________________

RESEARCH QUESTIONS:
1.
2.
3.

Rubric for Activity 3
                                       4                         3                          2                        1


Generating Research Questions

Student creates three or more research questions.

Student creates two research questions.

Student creates one research question.

Student fails to create a research question.

Word Usage

Student’s questions clearly convey ideas.

Student’s questions generally convey clear-cut ideas.

Student’s questions are somewhat vague.

Student’s questions are unclear.

Single Topic

All of the student’s questions are focused on one issue

Two of the student’s questions are focused on one issue.

One of the student’s questions is focused on one issue.

None of the student’s questions are focused on one issue.

Breadth of Topic.

All of the student’s topics have the correct breadth.

One of the student’s topics is either too broad or too narrow.

Two of the student’s topics are either too broad or too narrow.

All of the student’s topics are either too broad or two narrow.

 

Creating Research Questions
Summative Assessment
There will be a summative assessment on Friday on creating research questions. To prepare, re-watch the videos, review the Wiki Work Project, and Discussion Board entries, and study your notes.
Summative Assessment will be aligned with these Objectives.
Students will:

Timeframe:
One hour.
Results will compose 30% of your final grade.

Choose the best word(s) or term to complete the sentences.

c is the correct answer.
Explanatory Feedback.
A topic is someone or something people talk or write about.

Explanatory Feedback.
Traits and characteristics refer to distinguishing qualities belonging to persons, places or things.

Explanatory Feedback.
Research is a process of searching, collecting, exploring, and evaluating data.Research is discovering information about a topic, or subject matter that interests you. Research is investigation combined with learning. Research should be interesting and exciting.

Explanatory Feedback.
Open-ended questions allow you to fully explain your answer.  You may also include the thoughts of others in response. They also offer you the opportunity to address the “why” and the “how.” They cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”

The correct answer is KWL charts.

Explanatory Feedback.
KWL Charts records what a student knows (K), wants to know (W), and has learned (L) about a topic, and can be used before, during, and after research. The “W” column is especially helpful when developing research questions.

1.________________________________________.
2._________________________________________.

Explanatory Feedback.
You can narrow a broad topic by using a particular time period, gender, person, species, age, activity, or geography. You can also ask the questions What?, Why?, Where?, When?, Who?, Which?,  How?
Answer the following questions as either True or False.

              “What is your favorite meal?  True/ False.
The correct answer is False. 

Explanatory Feedback.
This question is close-ended since it can be answered with a very short response.

The correct answer is True.

Explanatory Feedback.
Research questions are specific in nature and give structure and focus to your investigation. They address the “why “and the “how” of a single issue. They also have the correct breadth in order to make them researchable.

The correct answer is False.

Explanatory Feedback.
Research questions focus on a single issue.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Explanatory Feedback
All research begins with a question that comes from a single topic that interests you. These questions often examine matters of great importance such as life, death, justice, honesty, courage, responsibility, leadership, equality, and invention.  Research questions define the breadth of the investigation and therefore must be neither too broad nor too narrow.  Finally, research questions give structure and focus as they allow you to develop the topic.
Part 2
Directions
In the “Type of Question” column indicate whether the question is open or closed. Then decide if the question is researchable with a “yes” or “no’” in the second column.


Example Research Question

Type of Question
(open-ended or close-ended)

Is the Question Researchable?

Was President John F Kennedy assassinated?

 

 

What games were played during the ancient Greek Olympics?

 

 

Does McDonald’s or Wendy’s make a better burger?

 

 

How does Australia’s location and climate affect its economy?

 

 

How were the Everglades formed?

 

 

If George Washington had not been our first president, how might our history have been different?

 

 

What city developed the first school system?

 

 

How long is the Missouri River?

 

 

Why was Nero considered an evil emperor?

 

 

What are the advantages of solar power over coal?

 

 

Why is soccer such an important sport in Great Britain?

 

 

When was Bill Clinton president?

 

 

How did the original 13 colonies become the United States?

 

 

What is the importance of genetic research in our lives?

 

 

How many states make up the United States?

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3
Directions
Select three of the following broad topics and create a research question for each.
Football, Pirates, Butterflies, Soccer, Music
1.
2.
3.

Rubric for Part 3
                                      4                         3                          2                        1


Generating Research Questions

Student creates three research questions.

Student creates two research questions.

Student creates one research question.

Student fails to create a research question.

Word Usage

Student’s questions clearly convey ideas.

Student’s questions generally convey clear-cut ideas.

Student’s questions are somewhat vague.

Student’s questions are unclear.

Single Topic

All of the student’s questions are focused on one issue

Two of the student’s questions are focused on one issue.

One of the student’s questions is focused on one issue.

None of the student’s questions are focused on one issue.

Breadth of Topic.

All of the student’s topics have the correct breadth.

One of the student’s topics is either too broad or too narrow.

Two of the student’s topics are either too broad or too narrow.

All of the student’s topics are either too broad or two narrow.