As kids these days, you face a variety of problems and have to make a lot of decisions. Sometimes even choosing what you are going to wear to school or where you are going to go with friends can be a problem. However, part of growing up means learning how to recognize problems and solve them with the best solution. Sometimes you will make choices that will affect your whole community. Researching possible problems and solutions in your community will help you to make well-informed decisions.

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Your task for this project will be to work in groups of 4-5 to identify, research, and solve a problem in your community. Your group will work together to learn the answers to the following questions:

  • Why do we have this problem?
  • How can we solve this problem?
  • Which is the best solution or plan of action?
Your final product will be a multimedia presentation (a web site, AppleWorks presentation, or iMovie) based on the information you gather. In addition, you will each be responsible for writing an expository paper (explaining the why and how components); a persuasive paper (using supporting details to explain the which component); reading at least one book on your subject (you may all read the same book, or each choose your own); and writing a response to the book you choose.

In order to complete this project you will need to do the following:

  • Collaborate within your groups to ensure each part of your project is complete and turned in on time.
  • Use your cooperation skills.
  • Develop a group plan that will determine the process your group plans to follow and the responsibilities of each group member.
  • Use teacher checklists and rubrics to write your papers.
  • Research your problem using a variety of different resources, including the Internet, books, magazines, newspapers, and members of your community.
  • Get your research question approved by the teacher BEFORE you start your research.
  • Peer edit and revise all of your papers before they are due.
  • Learn to use and be comfortable with the multimedia you choose for your final project.
  • Combine information from your papers to determine what information you will present in your oral presentation.

The following web sites will help you to develop a "good" research question:

How to Write a Research Paper
How to Form a Research Question
Building a Research Problem or Question

The following web sites will show you ways that kids have made a difference in their community by researching problems and developing solutions for those problems:

Inspiring Kids Who Make a Difference
Kids Helping Animals, Children, and the Earth
Students Help Out Oahu
PeaceCorps Kids Make a Difference

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