An interactive spy research project helps to reinforce good research practices in a fun and engaging way while also incorporating social studies standards and nonfiction text.
*** While clues are geared towards 4-6 grade social studies lessons, this could be used as a general research practice tool.***
Students become recruits for the Research and Development team at Mimir, a secret spy agency. After they are first trained in the ways of research,students must help Mimir solve video clues sent by a bold thief indicating famous historic artifacts that he plans to steal. Students must use their research skills to come up with answers to the clues the thief leaves in his videos and stop the crimes.
It starts with students picking which squadron they are assigned to (Alpha Squadron for 6th graders, Beta Squadron for 5th graders, and Gamma Squadron for 4th graders) and then watching a short video that will introduce them to the project. From here teachers will go over basic search and research practices. After they have reviewed how to conduct research they move on to the crime-fighting! They begin by watching the video sent by the thief and then go on to research the different clues left in the video. Once they've found the answer they fill out the form on the same page and submit their answer.
Once students hit submit two things happen: 1) their form will be emailed directly to the teacher so that the answers will be saved and can be used for assessment and grades 2) students will be taken to an answer page that will give the answer to the clue and have a short nonfiction paragraph describing the clue.
Upon purchase the password for the website will be given as well as a lesson plan on how to use Mimir; plus teachers will receive instructions on how to get their email addresses added to the website for student submitted answers.
I have updated this product to include a downloadable form for students to fill out for those teachers who may not want to use the emailed answer option (as the emailed answer option does generate a lot of email!). The paper still fits the same theme as the overall website, but they could turn in a written final product instead of through email. With this option you would not have to have your email address added to the contact form submission on the website.