Radical Researchers is a project in which students will work collaboratively in groups of four or five to identify, research, and solve a problem in their community. The project incorporates various Language Arts standards, including three of the required areas of writing (persuasive, expository, and response to literature). In addition to the writing component of the project, students will partake in the development of a multimedia project, using various forms of technology and software. The completion of the project will include an oral presentation in which students will share what they have learned with an audience, as well as try to persuade the audience to agree with what the group has determined is the best solution to the problem. Through their research, writing, and final project, students will learn that they are able to make a difference in their community.

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  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how to form a research question, relating to a problem within their community.
  • Students will research information using various forms of media and will evaluate the information for appropriateness, in relationship to their research question.
  • Students will create a presentation which will exhibit an understanding of the research process, including answers to questions such as, why do we have this problem; how can we solve this problem; and which solution is the best solution (or plan of action).
  • Students will consider a variety of solutions to their problem, and using the information and research they have gathered, will analyze which solution is the most viable.
  • Students will decide upon a solution to their problem and will argue their position, using support from a variety of resources.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the writing process, in regards to the areas of expository and persuasive writing, as well as response to literature.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of various forms of multimedia, such as the Internet, web design, or presentation design.
  • Students will learn to work collaboratively.
  • Students will reflect on their learning process, and will be aware of the various ways in which they learned.
  • Students will develop an understanding that they can make a difference in their community-through the choices they make and the actions they take.

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Reading
1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development

Word Recognition
1.1 Read aloud narrative and expository text fluently and accurately and with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression.

Vocabulary and Concept Development
1.4 Monitor expository text for unknown words or words with novel meanings by using word, sentence, and paragraph clues to determine meaning.

2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)

Structural Features of Informational Materials
2.1 Identify the structural features of popular media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, online information) and use the features to obtain information.
Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
2.3 Connect and clarify main ideas by identifying their relationships to other sources and related topics.
2.4 Clarify an understanding of texts by creating outlines, logical notes, summaries, or reports.

Expository Critique
2.6 Determine the adequacy and appropriateness of the evidence for an author's conclusions.
2.7 Make reasonable assertions about a text through accurate, supporting citations.

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Writing
1.0 Writing Strategies

Organization and Focus
1.1 Choose the form of writing (e.g., personal letter, letter to the editor, review, poem, report, narrative) that best suits the intended purpose.
1.2 Create multiple-paragraph expository compositions:
a. Engage the interest of the reader and state a clear purpose.
b. Develop the topic with supporting details and precise verbs, nouns, and adjectives to paint a visual image in the mind of the reader.
c. Conclude with a detailed summary linked to the purpose of the composition.

Research and Technology
1.4 Use organizational features of electronic text (e.g., bulletin boards, databases, keyword searches, e-mail addresses) to locate information.
1.5 Compose documents with appropriate formatting by using word-processing skills and principles of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing, columns, page orientation).

Evaluation and Revision
1.6 Revise writing to improve the organization and consistency of ideas within and between paragraphs.

2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)

2.2 Write expository compositions (e.g., description, explanation, comparison and contrast, problem and solution):
a. State the thesis or purpose.
b. Explain the situation.
c. Follow an organizational pattern appropriate to the type of composition.
d. Offer persuasive evidence to validate arguments and conclusions as needed.
2.3 Write research reports:
a. Pose relevant questions with a scope narrow enough to be thoroughly covered.
b. Support the main idea or ideas with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information searches).
c. Include a bibliography.
2.4 Write responses to literature:
a. Develop an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.
b. Organize the interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images.
c. Develop and justify the interpretation through sustained use of examples and textual evidence.
2.5 Write persuasive compositions:
a. State a clear position on a proposition or proposal.
b. Support the position with organized and relevant evidence.
c. Anticipate and address reader concerns and counterarguments.

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Written and Oral English Language Conventions
1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions

Sentence Structure
1.1 Use simple, compound, and compound-complex sentences; use effective coordination and subordination of ideas to express complete thoughts.

Grammar
1.2 Identify and properly use indefinite pronouns and present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect verb tenses; ensure that verbs agree with compound subjects.

Punctuation
1.3 Use colons after the salutation in business letters, semicolons to connect independent clauses, and commas when linking two clauses with a conjunction in compound sentences.

Capitalization
1.4 Use correct capitalization.

Spelling
1.5 Spell frequently misspelled words correctly (e.g., their, they're, there).

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Listening and Speaking
1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies

Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication
1.4 Select a focus, an organizational structure, and a point of view, matching the purpose, message, occasion, and vocal modulation to the audience.
1.5 Emphasize salient points to assist the listener in following the main ideas and concepts.
1.6 Support opinions with detailed evidence and with visual or media displays that use appropriate technology.
1.7 Use effective rate, volume, pitch, and tone and align nonverbal elements to sustain audience interest and attention.

2.0 Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)

2.2 Deliver informative presentations:
a. Pose relevant questions sufficiently limited in scope to be completely and thoroughly answered.
b. Develop the topic with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information).
2.3 Deliver oral responses to literature:
a. Develop an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.
b. Organize the selected interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images.
c. Develop and justify the selected interpretation through sustained use of examples and textual evidence.
2.4 Deliver persuasive presentations:
a. Provide a clear statement of the position.
b. Include relevant evidence.
c. Offer a logical sequence of information.
d. Engage the listener and foster acceptance of the proposition or proposal.
2.5 Deliver presentations on problems and solutions:
a. Theorize on the causes and effects of each problem and establish connections between the defined problem and at least one solution.
b. Offer persuasive evidence to validate the definition of the problem and the proposed solutions.

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