8th Grade Science Research Project Pathfinder
Theory of Plate Tectonics
Before you begin, take a look below at the
You have been invited to submit a traditional five-paragraph academic essay to the U.S. Eighth-Grade Science Annual.
How does Plate Tectonic Theory explain geological features on Earth like mountains and geological events like earthquakes and volcanoes?
Pick your topic and write your research question on your NoodleTools project dashboard just like this:
How does Plate Tectonic Theory explain ________?
How does Plate Tectonic Theory explain mountain building?
How does Plate Tectonic Theory explain earthquakes?
How does Plate Tectonic Theory explain volcanoes?Carefully follow the 4 Steps of the Research Process outlined below to research & write a successful essay:STEP 1. PREPAREBackground KnowledgeWHY ARE WE DOING THIS?Building some background knowledge on your topic before you begin formal research is extremely important. This way, you build a foundation for your research and acquire the vocabulary of your topic.You will begin the research to answer your question by doing some background investigation in Step 1 below.
To gain background knowledge on Plate Tectonics, do the following activities:
- Watch these videos:
- Do the interactive linked here: Dynamic Earth Interactive – Plate Tectonics – Annenberg Learner:
Directions: Move through this interactive and do the activities. You are not being tested or graded, but use the text and interactives to understand Plate Tectonics Theory and how it explains the Earth’s geologic features and events. End at the section called Slip, Slide & Collide. If you need help with the vocabulary, click here for a glossary.
c. Read this article: Explainer: Plate Tectonics / Science News for Students
d. Read this article: What is Plate Tectonics? - Live Science
e. Closely examine this informational graphic: INFOGRAPHIC: Plate Tectonics & Continental Drift
STEP 2. PICK YOUR SOURCESSource SelectionWHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO KNOW ABOUT THIS TASK?For this step of the research process, you will be going through the lists of information sources below and picking one from each list - 1 website; 1 book chapter; 1 database article. Your task is to go through the resources selected for you and pick one from each list - pick the ones that work best for you, that you understand, that you think give you the best evidence to show how Plate Tectonic Theory explains your chosen topic.
Choose three information sources - 1 website, 1 book chapter, 1 subscription database article - for your research paper from the linked pages below.
Click here for Book Chapters on plate tectonics
STEP 3. PROCESS THE INFORMATION
Close reading and Note-taking
This is where the real work of becoming an expert begins. By reading your source text strategically and with purpose, you will select information that answers your research question. This is where the research essay really takes shape. This is where you should put in maximum effort!a. 'HANDS-OFF' READ: Read closely for understanding without marking up your text. 2X
b. ANNOTATE your text
c. TAKE NOTES using NoodleTools NoteCards; Ms. Risi will work on this with you in your Science classUse these resources as you work on notetaking:
PowerPoint slides showing you what to do in the "DIRECT QUOTATION" and "PARAPHRASE" boxes of the NoodleTools Notecardshows you how to create your notecards so that they are linked to the correct source and the 5 new prompts for the 'MY IDEAS' box on your notecardsshows you the ways in which you can use each of the boxes in Notecards to hold your thinking and learningthis checklist will help you evaluate your own notetaking when you complete your notecards
- NoodleTools Notecards - Start Notetaking - STEPS 1 & 2
STEP 4. WRITE YOUR ESSAYOutlining & Writing the Final ProductWrite Your THESIS STATEMENT:Your Thesis Statement needs to be in this format:
- Peer Checklist - Check Your Partner's Notecards
- use this checklist to evaluate your partner's notecards
Plate Tectonic Theory explains (your topic goes here) because (reason#1), (reason #2), and (reason #3).
Guide to Writing the THESIS STATEMENTThe Outline:Turn Your Outline into the Essay:Watch the video of Mrs. Hahn turning her outline into a body paragraph and consult the guide:
In-Text Citation:How-To Sheet on IN-TEXT CITATION- step by step instructions on how to complete your in-text citationsFinal Essay Checklist