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This standards-based research project is perfect for 10th-12th graders (and could be modified for 9th grade) in a social studies and/or English class (Cross curricular possibility? Yes please!). It is also perfect for the end of the year as students have a lot of choice in what they are researching and the topics are high interest. The standards assessed could be modified to common core social science standards and you can remove certain standards that you do not want to assess. It has both a group and individual component, allowing students to be creative and problem solve with others, yet focus on their writing skills independently.
This product provides teachers with a complete structure for a student-lead research project.