Research Fair

As part of a recent unit of study on argumentative writing, P.J. Gelinas Junior High School seventh-graders in Jacqueline Shaw’s class demonstrated their knowledge and budding research skills during an interactive fair in the library.

The initiative was developed as a conclusion to a monthlong unit of study called “The Art of Argument and Research-Based Essays.” During this lesson, the students learned about the components of an argumentative paper – in particular, the need for evidence to support claims and the importance of a counterclaim. With the help of library media specialist Nicole Connelly, the students strengthened their research skills by accessing a number of online databases.

After familiarizing themselves with the writing style through a class project on competitive sports, the seventh-graders researched an argumentative topic of their choice and explained their opinion on that subject in essay and visual formats. Topics ranged from the benefits of technology in learning environments to bans on plastic bags to the safety of tanning salons. The students presented their findings to their peers during the research fair and fielded questions about their arguments’ claims.