Write a research report
- Grade level: Upper Elementary, Middle School.
- Subject Area: Science, Social Studies.
Following their research, students write and peer edit reports on their local and state legislators. Students are encouraged to develop their own criteria for evaluating their legislators and focus on specific environmental issues such as endangered species, toxic waste, or timber/logging on federal lands.
Students write - individually or in small groups - a research report on their local and state legislators. As with any collaborative project, activities can be assigned or partitioned to students in a variety of ways, from having some students write specific parts of the report to having everyone work together on all of the report (see Teamwork Big Idea).
- Practice writing skills through the processes of writing and revising their reports.
- Practice editing skills through peer editing.
- Synthesize their understandings of the concepts of how laws are crafted.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: none.
- Special software requirements: none.
- Internet access: none.
- Students create rough drafts of their local legislator reports. These reports should include the legislator's name, the region he or she represents, an analysis of his or her voting record on environmental issues, and a grade, from A for excellent to E for failing, of their voting record.
- Students pair up to edit each other's drafts prior to teacher editing.
- Students create final drafts, incorporating comments from their partners and teacher.
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