1. Before students enter the classroom, write the following
questions on the board:
are some of the most common contaminants found in
are the 3 most dangerous and why?
is arsenic? Where is it found? What is its affect on
countries have problems with arsenic contamination
in their water? Evaluate 5 countries
and list them
to highest concentrations.
As students come into class, tell them to copy down these
questions, preferably in a notebook
that they will keep with
them throughout the week. This will be their research journal,
which they will use to record their discoveries and observations,
and will need to bring every day. Explain to the class that
as a part of their research they will need to answer certain
questions in their journals, which you will post on a daily
basis. They will also use their journals to record where
they find all their information for citation purposes
be done a separate page). Check to see if there are any questions
about these procedures, and clarify any misunderstandings.
Ask the class if anyone was able to find an article about
water pollution (homework from the previous night). Post
the room and encourage students to take a look at them at
a later time.
If you have not done so already, distribute the handout
that outlines the final project. Review the
main points of
the handout with the class, and clarify any questions they
may have. Establish any additional parameters or requirements
for the project at this time, and make sure students understand
what they are expected to do. If possible, give them exact
due dates for research data, and/or presentation dates.
Assign each student a region of the world to focus on
final project (These may be randomly assigned from the
list of countries
provided on the handout. Some students will be studying
the same region; encourage them to share research tools,
remind them that their projects will be independently rendered).
Students will now proceed to either the library or computer
lab, depending on which is available and where
them to spend their first day researching. Monitor their
carefully, ensuring that they stay on task. Assist them
as needed in finding their information.
1. Prior to the class beginning, write the following
questions on the board:
research tool did you use the most to find information
useful was this tool? Evaluate it on a scale of 1 to
10, 10 being the most useful, and explain
tool helped you.
there another research tool which you would like to
use more today? Which one?
was the most interesting thing you learned in your
should copy down these questions in their research journals
at the beginning
of class. Remind the students that they do not have
to answer all the questions in one research day, but
written responses to them all by the end of the week.
Tell the class to make sure they bring their research
journals each day in order to record data, observations,
questions, and their thoughts. Remind them to record
where they find all their information for citation
purposes, including authors, titles, publishers,
dates, page numbers,
Connecting to Your Research on a Personal Level
Before heading off to the library or the computer
lab, you should take about 5-10 minutes to discuss
the students the reasons for keeping a research
journal. Ask the class for ideas about this subject.
researchers do this? Usually scientists, writers,
or any kind of researcher will record not only
and discoveries, but also what they think and feel
the information they gather. Help students to understand
that often the most powerful research is presented
persuasively, and in order to be persuasive, one
must be confident
in the work they are doing. If one is confident
about the research, this will come across in the final
presentation of the data. If students can connect
to their research,
they will care more about the issues and their
project will have a greater impact on the audience.
Spend the remainder of class allowing students to continue
their research, either in the library
the computer lab.
1. Before the students arrive, write the following
questions on the board:
is the most surprising thing you have discovered
about your region of the world?
does the arsenic in your particular region come
from? (Bedrock? Volcanic activity? Pesticides?
much arsenic is found in the water of your particular
region of study?
resources have you used so far in your research? Which
have you not yet used?
is it important to draw from a variety of different
sources when conducting research?
students copy these questions into their research journals
come into class.
You may want to briefly discuss the final question on
regarding resource variety. Help the students understand
that in order to draw correct,
unbiased conclusions from data they must draw from
a variety of sources, including books, magazines, newspapers,
encyclopedias, databases, internet sites, etc. Furthermore,
the more sources students use in their research, the
more credible their arguments will be. Ask the class
if there are any questions or concerns that have come
up during their research. Address these in class briefly.
You may want to enforce a penalty of some sort for
who fail to use a variety of resources in their research.
Students will spend the rest of the class period in
the library or the computer lab conducting research
writing in their research journals.
1. Before class begins, write the following questions
on the board:
does arsenic affect the human body?
are the various ways that arsenic can enter the human
can arsenic levels in the body be determined?
students come into class, many will begin to copy these
into their research journals automatically,
but remind any who may forget. If students have already
found some answers to these questions, they may write
down their responses in class. Address any concerns
students may have about their research.
The rest of the period will be spent in the library or
computer lab, so that students may continue
with their research.
1. Prior to the students’ arrival, post the following
research questions for the day:
can arsenic be removed from the water supply? Evaluate
at least 3
methods of arsenic removal. Which
would be the most successful? Which is the least expensive? Which
is the easiest to put in practice?
happens to people in your particular region who are
victims of arsenic poisoning? Consider
not only physical symptoms, but also social and cultural effects.
are the useful qualities of each resource tool you
have used so far?
will copy these questions into their research journal
Students will have one final day to research in the library
the computer lab.
Once students have completed their research,
tell the class to keep all their notes and data in a safe place.
Encourage them to ponder the information they have gathered
over the next few days, and to write about what implications
their data has for the health of the people of that region.
How can these contamination problems be solved?
Student journals should be assessed periodically to see
if students are collecting useful data, answering daily
research questions consistently, and using a variety of
research tools. While students are researching, float around
the room to ensure the class is on task.
should be collected periodically to be checked, but no additional
homework is required. You may want to remind students to continue
their research at home, as they may not have sufficient class
time to compile and process data.