Independent Research Project


BrainHi Great Brains!

During the next eight weeks, you will complete a Great Brain Independent Research Project.  Here are some materials you will need for success:

6th Grade Research Project (PPT Introduction)

101 Research Paper Topics (List)

Bibliography Examples (Examples and Link)

Finding a Passion for Research (Choose a Topic Activity)

Great Brain Independent Research Project (Project Description)

Great Brain Independent Research Project – Spanish (Description in Spanish)

Great Brain Independent Research Project Reflection

GATE Showcase Projects 2012 (PPT)

Independent Study Research Cards (How to Organize Your Folder)

Independent Study Research Folder (Picture of Research Folder)

KWL Chart for Research

Online Essay Map (Website to Make Essay Map)

Outline for a Research Paper

Self Evaluation – 5 Paragraph Essay

Self Evaluation – Bibliography

Self Evaluation – Final

Self Reflection – Index Cards

Self Reflection – KWL Chart

Self Evaluation – Outline

Self Evaluation – Table of Contents and Chapter Notes

What is a periodical?

Writing a Research Report (Example of Writing Stages)

Picture 1

Here are some videos to get your started:

  1. Choose a writing topic for an informational text
  2. Develop a research question
  3. Find answers to research questions by skimming texts for evidence
  4. Plan writing for an informational text
  5. Group research into categories to plan informational writing
  6. Write an introduction for an informational text
  7. Draft an informational, research-based writing
  8. Organize ideas in informational writing using headingsPicture 3
  9. Write a conclusion for an informational text
  10. Add text features to informational writing

Here are some kid-friendly online research sources:

Awesome Library

Encyclopedia Britannica

Fact Monster

ipl2 for Kids

KidsClick Web Search

National Geographic Kids

Scholastic News Weekly Reader (use Ren login)

Scholastic News (Sweet Sounds of Trash)

Time for Kids

Have fun building greater brains, Great Brains!

Ms. Rankin

Bonus Feature: (It will blow your mind!)


67 responses »

  1. Hello!! Ms.Rankin, I was wondering if I could do my report on Cyber bullying ?? I already did the topic sentence and the questions… I have to get your permission so, I could continue thanks hope your having a good weekend ~ Leslie ❤ 🙂

  2. Hi Everyone! The topic I am researching is rainforest deforestation. Today, I researched the causes of rainforest deforestation. I spent some time on I learned that we destroy our rainforests for many reasons: 1) urbanization, which means building houses and communities, 2) logging, which means cutting down trees for wood ortimber, 3) agriculture, which means planting crops for food, and 4) cattle ranching, which means raising cows to be slaughtered or killed for meat. I will continue to research on another website to find out if there are any other causes. Stay posted!

  3. Hi, Ms. Rankin! Today I learned that there are 2,300 kids that go missing each day. Also, that each 40 seconds someone goes missing. I’m still trying to figure out what to write for how we can stop this harm. That’s all pretty much all!

    • Hi Kathy. I know that the topic of missing children is of great interest to you. It is a serious and difficult issue, and we need Great Brains to think upon how our society can keep children safe. When researching at home, please stay on scholarly websites, approved by your mother.

  4. Ms. Rankin, can I do my topic on Nyjah Huston? (If u don’t know who he is, he’s a pro skateboarder who started at age 4 and was forced to skate by his dad.)

    • Hi Max. Thanks for predicting that I may not know of Nyjah Huston and for filling in the information for me. Yes, it may be very interesting to investigate how a pro skateboarder attains that level of expertise. The history with his dad may indeed be an interesting angle to examine as well. Go forth!

  5. What learned today is Adolf Hitler was born in Branau am Inn, Austria, on April 20, 1889, and was the fourth of six children born to Alois Hitler and Karla Polzl. Also, he had a wife named Eva Braun.

    • Kennya, I am pleased to see that you will continue your investigation into World War II. I noticed how interested you became in World War II literature and history after reading Number the Stars. You even did a Book Talk on Anne Frank. I think this topic is an excellent choice for you! Onward!

    • Yes, but don’t waste any time in choosing a topic. You’ll need to do a little extra catch up work!! I am sure you will be able to catch up with your skill and determination! Let me know what you decide so I can approve it.

  6. What I learn today was that the star actor that did Harry Potter is Daniel Radcliffe. His parents wanted Daniel to have a normal childhood but when he started doing plays his talent was clearly visible to everybody. Daniel became extremely popular for such a young age he was only 10 years old when he started filming! He was born in July on 1989 in Fulham , London. 😉

    • Flor, I can clearly see why you picked this topic, as you are a HUGE Harry Potter fan! It will be interesting to see how you craft your research questions so that you “go deep” with your investigation. Knowing you, you will be able to make some interesting discoveries!

    • Proceed carefully, Abner. You are treading on shaky ground with your topic in that most people would consider Hellhound to be pseudoscience, not science. There is myth, and there are facts, and we want to stick to facts for our research project. When I did a quick google search for Hellhound, I could not find any credible/factual sources on the topic. Remember, we stay away from sites like Wikipedia for research. I know that Animal Planet is doing a series on Hellhound, and it has clearly piqued your interest. Perhaps you can investigate the history of the myth/legend, how it varies from country to country or time period to time period, and what role this legend may play in our society. With this line of query, you may be able to take your topic of interest and fit it into the parameters of our research project. Let’s talk.

  7. Today, I learned that to make lightning, you need warm and cold air go up and make a storm.They form ice crystals and they bump together and that’s how lightning is made!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:}:):}:}

  8. My topic is the rainforest. I learned that the rainforest is the size of a football field and only 7% of only original water left in the rainforest!!! Bad news

  9. Hi Ms.Rankin the sites I used on my report are , and on this site it shows how cyber bullying is effecting us kids, adults, and teens. My other sites are for this site it shows how teens are cyberbullied.. these are the things I’ve learned for today 🙂

    • Cyber bullying is a very relevant topic to select, Leslie! I will eagerly await your findings on the topic. Let me put you in contact with a colleague in our school district that may be a good informational resource for you. You may even be able to set up an interview with her! 🙂

      • Thank you Ms. Rankin for the comment and the Interview I’m looking forward to interviewing her 🙂

  10. Hi Ms.Rankin did you know that Lightning is 5 times hotter than the sun!!!!! The surface of the sun is 6,000 kelvins and Lightning is 30,000 kelvins!!!!!!!!! :):):):):)):)

    • First of all, Angel, I didn’t even know what “kelvins” were!!!! (Now, I know that 30,000 kelvins is equal to 53,540 degrees Fahrenheit…because your blog comment prompted me to look it up!) Wow! I can’t wait to learn more from your newfound expertise! 🙂 Research on, Mr. Gonzalez!

  11. ”What I learned today was that a single rainforest is a size of a football field !” I found that out at a website, but I forgot.

  12. Wow I learned that the first person to experience a tornado is John Winthrop !!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 and that there is a tornado history one is called Penkin

  13. What I learned today about my topic is toxic waste can make you sick because the toxic waste can go into our drinking water.

  14. I learned that 200million dollars were lost in the 1994. and also that fire starts in the presence of oxygen, and in the presence of electricity, and certain chemical fluids.

  15. Today I learned that lightning is so fast that you only see a flash. Also, that lightning are made of 25 or more bolts (strokes)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :):):):):):

  16. Today I learned that hellhound are not that evil some time they are very helpful who are very loyal and watchful and hellhound protects the ones who needs it

  17. Today I found out that their is a planet made out of something else and it is made of diamonds and it has reach 3,900 degrees .

  18. Ms.Rankin my mom saw that was learning ASL American Sign Language and she said that if i could do this project as well for extra credit. So can i do this project and the Missing kids one. But first am going to do the missing kids one and if i have time can i do ASL one.

    • That sounds great, Kathy. Here is an interesting piece of information I learned a couple of days ago. My son Jon will attend high school at University High in Irvine next year. He is interested in taking Spanish for his foreign language. We just learned at a meeting that University High School also offers sign language as a foreign language. As you learned in our Naviance College and Career Readiness Program, most competitive colleges require 2 years of foreign language classes in high school. Perhaps your high school offers sign language too! It’s worth investigating. I didn’t know University High offered sign language! So cool!! (Nevertheless, I still think Jon wants to take Spanish! :)) You have a jump-start on him on that subject, Kathy! Lucky girl!!

  19. Hey Mrs. Rankin I just wanted to ask if what time do you get to school tomorrow because I forgot my research paper in the classroom but ,other than that I have finish my bulletin board and also you never told told us how to do the biography so I was wondering about that .

    • Hi Kathy! Sorry, I am just seeing your comment now. I hope you already have your happy answer. 🙂 You make an excellent point about the bibliography. I totally neglected to teach this skill. We will use to format our citations. I will attack it tomorrow. Good thing we all gave ourselves an extra week before Open House to get these tasks all done, right? Thanks for your comment, Kathy.

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