Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Group research involves presenting an issue or question about a text to a small number of students and allowing them to work together to find information. Students may use the library, the Internet, or a given set of texts to research their subject. After researching, students should compile and synthesize the findings of the group.
Teachers can begin a Group research project by dividing the class into groups of four or five and giving each group a specific area or issue to investigate. (These issues should be different from one another, but all should relate to the text.)
Each group should find primary sources that give them insight into the issue at hand. If there is time, teachers may ask students to interview people who have firsthand knowledge of the subject, or to record sounds and images that detail some aspect of the issue they're investigating.
The groups should then compile their information and create a brief presentation for the class as a whole. The presentations may be textual, or they can be dramatic, involving image, movement, sound, and spoken stories.
The class as a whole should discuss how the information presented changes their understanding of the literary work they're reading.
By allowing students to find answers independently with the aid of their peers, Group research teaches students to be proactive in their education. Instead of listening to information "packaged" by a teacher, students learn to find information and process it for themselves.
Group research also encourages students to rely on each other's experiences and to develop respect for their peers' perspectives. By using the findings of each member to create a group presentation, students learn to build consensus and to synthesize various ideas.