The Facts and the Figures
Author: Catharine Niuzzo Honaman

Time: 5 classes
Preparation Time:

1 hour to read lesson and to reserve time in library and/or computer lab

Materials: Access to computer lab for students to write up their fact sheets/compilation of research notes

Being a part of the final project, this lesson builds on work that is being done concurrently in social studies and science. Students will use this lesson to do research on a human health topic. This research will result in a paper that is a compilation of the information found on the selected topic with appropriate citations. However, the product is not a formal research paper in which the emphasis is on proper format. Instead, the paper will be an organized listing of facts, quotes, and pertinent information that can be utilized in the creation of a public service message which will be the focus of the apply lesson in science class. This is an Explain Lesson. Students will gather information with which to create a public service message in science and social studies as the quarter’s final project.

Students will be able to:
1. Gather information on a focused topic dealing with a public health issue;
2. Consult enough sources to compile sufficient information to create a public service message about a public health issue;
3. Accurately and thoroughly document where each piece of information was found.

National English Education Standards
Standard #7
Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purposes and audience.

Standard #8
Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Arizona State Standards
Strand 2: Concept 2: Functional Text
PO 1. Synthesize information from multiple sources to solve a problem.

W-P4. Craft a cohesive research document that develops a logical argument or thesis; contains comprehensive, supporting information from a variety of credible and cited resources; and conforms to a style manual.
PO 1. State a point of view, position or argument about a subject
PO 3. Support a point of view, position, or argument, utilizing facts, examples, details, and/or quotes from credible, accurate sources.

Teacher Background
It would be very helpful to you as a resource in the classroom to know what is happening in the science and social studies classes. As the students will be doing research in your class to support the public service messages that are being created in the science and social studies classes, it is important for you to know what topics are being investigated in these other classes and what the related activities are.

Related and Resource Websites



1. Students will spend this week researching a public health issue in order to assist them with the public service message they’re creating in different formats for their science and social studies classes. To support their work in these other classes and to prepare them for next week’s activity in language arts, each student will be doing research all this week on a public health issue of his or her choosing using a multitude of resources in the library.

2. Briefly explain to the students that they will be making bookmarks next week that will utilize at least ten solid facts, statistics, quotes, etc. directly related to their public health issues.

3. In preparation for this activity each student will be creating an informational list of significant facts about his or her public health issue. The list or compilation needs to be neatly organized so that the fact, statistic, quote, etc. is accurately stated followed by a complete citation of the source it came from. Since this work supports science and social studies products, it would be best to use the scientific format of citation. Each compilation needs a minimum of ten citations. The student should look for solid information, but also include startling statistics and attention-grabbing quotes. The student should use many different types of sources such as books, magazines, encyclopedias, newspapers, personal interviews, and not just rely solely on the Internet. Depending on the sources available to your students in your particular library, you should stipulate how many of each source should be represented in the compilation paper.

If students have not completed the necessary amount of research to support the activities in the science and social studies classes where they are creating public service announcements, they will need to do additional research on their own. Next week they will be working on their bookmarks and will not have any additional time for the list.

Embedded Assessment
This can be assessed by observing how each student conducts their research and viewing the final product of a compilation paper including a list of relevant facts, figures, quotes, and information gathered by each student. The list should be organized, have a complete citation for each entry, and contain at least 10 entries gathered from a variety of sources.


PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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