Are your high school students motivated to study? Now is a good time to motivate them using lesson plans on a variety of projects, especially research projects. Teaching high school students the importance of research projects is a great challenge, especially when they are so focused on their own academic performance and their grades. But the benefits of the skills they walk away with are enormous. There is still time left before the end of the year to implement even a small scale research project.

Both online and traditional research projects pretty much work in the same general format: students formulate a research question, gather information, present their findings and finally, reflect on the research process.
Since research projects demand higher thinking and critical skills similar to those expected in college, why not introduce the research process while they are still in the earlier years of high school? The implications for teaching these important skills are great. Before you decide to take on the responsibility of teaching and grading a high school research project, consider the following tips for effectively implementing research projects in high school.

Tips on How to Do a High School Research Project

  • Formulating a research question. Unfortunately, formulating a research question involves time and is not a simple task to do, but it must be taught before students know exactly what information they need to find.
  • Critical Reading. Students need to critically read as they look for information pertaining to their research question. Highlighters can help.
  • Dictionary Use. Teach students the importance of educated guessing while supporting their answers with the aid of a dictionary. Dictionary use is especially important with jargon related vocabulary.
  • Writing a Research Project Outline. High school students very quickly learn to hate outlining very quickly up through college and even. But it is a life-long skill. Show them that a simple outline is all it takes to effectively organize their information.
  • Note Taking. Start small by encouraging students to write the main idea in their own words, in addition to important facts. You might wish to demonstrate this using an overhead project, a power point presentation or using handouts.
  • Summarizing skills. Students must be able to summarize a short text in their own words by the end of High School. But truthfully, many students do not know how to summarize even a paragraph. Use this helpful summarizing lesson to get you started.
  • Citing sources. Learning how to cite sources for a research paper and writing a bibliography correctly are necessary for effective research writing.

Social skills in Research Projects

Group collaboration. It is very trendy for teachers to execute group collaboration and it is quickly becoming an accepted skill that is in demand at many jobs. However, it is a skill that must be taught and especially in high school.
Learning how to reach democratic decisions, plan time effectively, and listening to each others are all part of this collaboration based effort otherwise known as group work.
All the best of luck! Research projects may seem at first complicated, but the effort is worthwhile.