- 1). Write out the questions you seek to answer in a spiral notebook to use as your research journal. Pick a topic of interest and pose one main question with three sub-questions beneath it. You will seek to answer as many of these questions as you can to the best of your ability. Make certain to ask open-ended questions that begin with "what" or "how."
- 2). Begin your research. Start in the library or on the internet and gather preliminary information related to your topic. Search for a minimum of three different sources, which should provide you with expansive -- rather than redundant -- data. Make notes in your journal that include names, dates and other pertinent information. This first step along your journey will help you better choose what final form you wish your research to take.
- 3). Interview an expert. In your search for information, seek out local people with expertise with the subject you are studying. Ask them if they would be available for a 30-minute interview either in person or online. Use the preliminary information to formulate questions for your interview, and practice asking them of a friend or parent. Take notes in your journal during the interview; if you have the equipment available and gain the permission of the person being interviewed, record the conversation to avoid missing important details. Make sure to thank the expert for his time, and send a follow-up thank you note to show what you learned at the end of your project.
- 4). Participate in a hands-on activity. Look for local workshops, on-going projects, community events, historical re-enactment societies, at-home science experiments or open learning labs that directly relate to the questions you are seeking to answer. Journal about your experiences, including what did and did not work, and inspiration you might have gained during or just after the activity.
- 5). Present your research. Find a way that would honor the research you did and present your findings to your parents, friends or local homeschooling group. Your presentation can take the form of a formal, written report, a play, a poster board showing the steps you took and the answers you uncovered, a scale model of a location or object related to your research, a song, a video or anything else you feel will best capture and explain your process and conclusions.
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