This set of four research planning forms include the following topics:
*An Event that Impacted Our World
*An Invention that Changed Our World
*Something that Impacted My Life (the student's life)
*An Unlikely Leader
I've also included a page of examples in each topic. Research is more meaningful if students are forced to move beyond the "copy and paste" mode of research assignment to actually think and write about how certain events, inventions, and personal experiences have made an impact in their own lives. What would their lives be like if these events didn't take place or certain inventions weren't invented?
"An Unlikely Leader" assignment is researching people whose difficult backgrounds, disabilities or circumstances made them an unlikely leader helps students realize that great things can be accomplished by ordinary people who overcame obstacles in their lives. Ask your school or public librarian to come up with a list of biographies available in print and Web formats of people who overcame hardships to become leaders in history, government, business, social change, movements of faith, etc.
Students and teachers alike will be surprised to learn that some of the leaders whose names we easily recognize have experienced failure, hardships, and physical and emotional difficulties that could've led them to giving up, but they persevered and went on to do great things. And the lesson can potentially introduce many new names of leaders they may not be so familiar with, but their contributions are no less important. And the lesson can be so powerful to students who think that being a leader or accomplishing great things is only for the gifted, well-endowed, popular people. But most leaders are created through hard work and perseverance-- they didn't give up.