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Big 6+ ELA Projects: 8th Grade GLE (Risk Taker)

Lesson Overview

The goal of this inquiry project is for students to be able to connect a risk taker with an inquiry question and the literature they have read in class.  Students will be answering an inquiry question related to risk takers.  Students will select a specific risk taker to research in order to find answers to their inquiry question.  Students will present their findings in written and visual formats.  **A speech component is optional.

Look in the Proficiency Scale Tab for Rubric Information


This is a collaborative lesson taught by both the classroom teacher and the school librarian. Get in contact with your school librarian early to discuss scheduling and teaching responsibilities.

This lesson plan is a guideline. If you need to make minor adjustments or changes to best suit the needs of your students or the resources in your building, please do so. If you have questions about the curricular requirements, please contact Shelley Erickson or Julie Schik.

At the completion of this lesson, you will need to send two student examples each of a level 2, 3, and 4 project to your curriculum specialist or department head who will in turn submit them to your supervisor.  This can be electronically or as a hard copy.

Task Definition (1)

Teacher—will assist students with selecting an inquiry question and a risk taker for their research.  Students will select a purposeful inquiry question related to literature unit.  Students will select an historical figure (past or modern) whose life exemplifies or reflects purposeful risk taking.  (Suggested questions and topics included on Inquiry Question/Risk Taker Selection Sheet).

Teacher will introduce the requirements for the project.  (See Synthesis & Sharing)

Formative Assessment: Verify all information is recorded on student handouts (can be a visual check or graded assessment)

Info Seeking/Location & Access (2/3)

With direct instruction from the school librarian (with support from the classroom teacher) on search strategies and recommended resources, students will locate required information about their selected risk taker:

  • Biographical Info about risk taker (RT)
  • How RT connects with/answers inquiry question
  • Enduring effects of the risk taken (how did this person affect/change our world?)
  • Why did you select this historical figure?
  • Why should people your age know more about this person and his/her accomplishments?
  • What is one lesson people can learn from this person?
  • **Extension—compare/contrast risk taker researched and characters from texts read during class

Possible Sources of information:

  • Gale Student Resources in Context
  • Biography Reference Bank (NebraskAccess)
  • Encyclopedia Britannica

Your librarian will use your school's direct links to the following district databases when working with students.

Formative Assessment:  Consistent and frequent verbal and visual checks with student to assess if they are able to access quality resources.

Use of Information (4)

Teacher will guide students through transferring information into a notes organizer. (TBD by teacher and/or self-selected by students.  Example included—Risk Taker Notes/Historical Research and Profile).

With direct instruction and support from the school librarian, students will create citations for their sources.  Recommendation to use district subscription to Noodle Tools. 

Formative Assessment:  Visual checks for completion.  And/or, individual conferencing with students to determine if ready to move on to synthesis and sharing.

Synthesis & Sharing (5)

Teacher will review the requirements for the final project and assist students as necessary.  Products: Each element should combine students’ personal perspective as well as general information about the charity.

Required:  A written Summary or Annotated Bibliography of information learned.  This should be a more developed version of the Historical Research and Profile which can be broken down into Intro (Primary importance/Biographical Info); Body (How does the risk taker connect to the inquiry question/Enduring effects of risk taken) and Conclusion (Why selected/should others care & lesson learned).  Additionally, students can compare/contrast the risk taker researched and characters from texts read during class.

Optional:  *Visual--An Info Graphic, Informational Flyer, Brochure, or Bookmark that includes 8-10 elements about the risk taker that answer the inquiry quesiton.  *Verbal presentation for the entire class or in small groups.

Formative Assessment: Rough draft feedback.

Summative Assessment: Use provided rubric to grade final product.

Self-Evaluation (6)

Teacher will guide students as they complete the self-evaluation form containing teacher selected items from the form included below.

The self-evaluation can be as brief (one question) or as long as the teacher deems necessary.  This can be a graded or non-graded activity.         

Citation Resources

Noodle Tools

Noodletools provides a format for creating research papers.  It provides an area for notetaking, citation creation, and paper formation.

Guides for using Noodle Tools

This 20 minute video gives an overview on how to use NoodleTools.

This video shows how to create a new project.

This video shows how to check the format of your citation.

This video shows how to add a preformatted citation from a database or website.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).