Research Lesson Plan: Choosing a Topic, Researching, and Writing

Submitted by: Melyssa Quintana

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students view, analyze, and discuss various BrainPOP videos in order to get an overview of possible research topics. Students then complete the research process in order to synthesize a research paper.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. View, analyze, and discuss various BrainPOP videos in order to get an overview of possible research topics
  2. Complete the research process in order to synthesize a research paper


  • Laptops or computer stations to view BrainPOP videos


audiovisual; accurate; academic; secondary source; primary source; interview; encyclopedia; periodicals; additional vocabulary pertaining to the research topic


The BrainPOP videos connected to this lesson can be adjusted to fit any research project--simply select which videos/topics you want your students to choose from.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Students should come up with 5-10 research questions that they will look to answer through their own research.
  2. In the next day's lesson, provide students with time to re-watch the video on their chosen topic in order to further investigate through the eyes of a researcher. They should peruse the additional features provided on BrainPOP (such as the FYI, activities, and experiment) in order to get a better base understanding of their broad topic. The features will also help students narrow their topic.
  3. Students should then choose which topic they would like to explore further through their research. You may wish for students to continue completing their research as a group or branch off to work independently on an individually-selected topic.
  4. Once all the groups have had a chance to view and discuss each of the videos, lead a whole-class discussion about the videos. You may want to utilize the FYI sections to provide more information and foster a deeper understanding.
  5. Monitor each of the groups to check for understanding of task and content.
  6. Have students set up a section in their notebooks where they can write questions and comments about each of the videos they view.
  7. Inform students that they will have 7-10 minutes at each station for viewing the video, taking notes, and discussing with their group. They will move from station to station to view the other videos.
  8. Set up five or six computers you would like your students to use as they proceed with the gallery walk. Pull up one of the videos on each of the computers.
  9. Show the Research video to prepare students for completing a research project.
  10. Continue the research process as you would any other research project with the ultimate result being a synthesized paper or presentation.