Presenting & Discussing the Final Research Projects

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SWBAT present extemporaneous speeches, pose critical questions about their peers' speeches, and respond to their peers' questions regarding their argumentative research project.

Big Idea

After a long, hard "research season," your students will be stoked to present & answer questions from peers about their research project!


15 minutes
Today students will begin the hour by submitting their FINAL DRAFT of the research paper to the "Revision 3" slot of  In order to earn full credit, they need to make and confirm their submission within the first 15 minutes of class.  I will have the attached disclaimers projected on my board when they arrive to class in order to clarify directions and ensure that I can move around the room and assist students that may be having submission problems.

Building Knowledge

10 minutes

In order to prepare for our presentation and question activity, I want to remind students of the importance of active, critical, and engaged listening.  To do so, we'll view a wonderful TED video from Julian Treasure called "5 Ways to Listen Better."

When we're done with the video, I will ask students for a reaction and response to the video, specifically about his claim that listening skills are declining.  Then, we will review listener expectations for the argumentative presentations, which will be:

  • Use a critical lens while listening, trying to avoid taking a particular stance on the topic until the presentation is complete.
  • Every student must ask at least 3 critical questions in response to a peer's presentation at some point today.
  • All media (Chromebooks & cell phones) must be closed or put away.
  • Note-taking (on paper) is encouraged to help organize your thoughts.
  • Only ask questions that benefit the class's understanding of the presentation, not just questions to "get your points."  Points will ONLY be awarded when thoughtful questions are asked.
  • Students can ask more than 3 questions today, but please do not dominate the discussion.  Give everyone time to participate.


60 minutes

For the remainder of the hour, students will use their outlines (or presentations in the case of some of my students!) to share their research project with their peers.  During these presentations, I want to see that students share their thesis, main claims and support, and counterclaims with rebuttals.  I will also ask students to share anything else that they discovered that really impressed them or surprised them.  While the Common Core does advocate formal and informal speeches, the Core isn't the only reason that I complete this activity!  I love to allow students the chance to share research and the product of all of their hard work, as it creates a better learning climate, fosters a sense of joy in learning, and gives peers the chance to interact around academic inquiry.

As discussed in the "Building Knowledge" section, all non-presenting students will also be required to ask at least 3 critical questions throughout the day.  This listener component is important for both the listener and speaker, as it requires listeners to actively pay attention and critically engage, and speakers need to be prepared and demonstrate flexibility to answer questions on the spot using their research.  Since I have relatively huge class sizes, these presentations will only be about 2-3 minutes a piece (which is a shame!), but they will still have the intended effect!  I've attached here presentations that students created for this activity, but students could have alternately just delivered their presentation from their written outline as well.


5 minutes

In the final minutes of class, I will congratulate and thank all of my students for working so hard to complete their research papers.  I will also ask students who have not yet submitted their papers to to come see me (or email me) to update me to let me know when they intend to do so and how I can help.  For all students who have submitted their essays already, they have the weekend off to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor!

Next Steps

I will begin grading research papers almost immediately after the "late credit" submission expires (if not before).  Until every single paper is turned in, my main priority is on communicating with students and parents of students who have NOT yet turned in their essays.  Maintaining this open communication with students and parents is key to running a transparent, open classroom, and it prevents any "shocked" students or parents when late credit or 0's begin to be assigned.  The routine checking of submissions and "research extras" is time-consuming, but again, the time invested in preventing issues is always better spent than time dealing with issues that could have been prevented.  Vigorous communication practices reduced my number of missing research papers last year to fewer than 5, and I'm hoping for 100% turn-in rates this year!  

After grading has begun, I use to grade the research paper itself.  Since my rubric has already been uploaded and weighted, it is extremely easy to use and transfer points values from their platform to my Skyward gradebook.