Research and Project Plans

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

This lesson consists of research and project-work days. Students will work through the various worksheets in their groups, developing their projects while relying on what they learned in previous sessions. They use a decision matrix and work collaboratively to fine-tune their solutions. Students conduct independent and whole group research based on the list brainstormed in the KWL.

Duration 
PrintSix 50-Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will 

  • use the websites introduced in lesson one to conduct independent research. 
  • work through the various worksheets in their groups.
  • develop their projects while relying on what they learned in previous sessions. 
Materials 

student copies of handout (below) and Matrix

Teacher Preparation 
  • Decision Matrix: Define the issue (Use background research and web sites referred to in Day 1)
  • Research and Design Solutions: Three sessions (Days 7 – 9)
  • Share with teams and fine-tune solutions: Three sessions (Days 10 – 12)
Bibliography 
  • Feeding America [http://www.feedingamerica.org/]
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [http://www.fao.org/home/en/]
  • World Food Program USA [http://wfpusa.org/]

Instructions

Print
  1. Tell the students that their goal is to work in their groups to define the problem. 

    Students collaborate in groups to research and agree on a problem to address.

  2. Decision Matrix handout: Students work alone to rank what they find to be the most pressing problems in hunger and/or water safety and scarcity. They will share with their groups during the ‘defining the problem’ section.

  3. Days Two through Four

    Research solutions: Give students some time to research solutions on their own/in their groups.

  4. Design solutions: Students groups work to design solution and its effects on hunger, the economy, etc. 

  5. Day Five

    Share, fine-tune, present: Student groups team up with another group and they both present and give feedback to each other in preparation for their final presentations. 

  6. Day Six

    Groups should be given time to revise and finalize presentations.

Cross Curriculum 

Invite two farmers/ranchers to speak to the class — one from a large operation and another from a small family/organic farm. You may find them through the local county extension office. Sample questions for these two speakers might include: 
•    How long have you been farming?
•    What are the pros and cons of the approach you use?
•    What crops are you growing?
•    Do you find that certain crops respond best to your approach?
•    With the approach you use, how do your crops respond to heat, draught, excess moisture, fluctuating temperatures (freezing temperatures)?
•    With the approach you use, do you find any issues with storage, taste, waste, or shelf-life?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.9 Recognize problems different communities encounter using a "commons" and possible solutions.
    3. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibilities.
    4. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify and research public or social issues in the community, nation or the world related to the common good. Form an opinion, and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      3. Benchmark MS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
    2. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Develop a service plan.