ELA 5: Research Topics and The Wave

Today's lesson will be all researching the wave. We'll look at all kinds of wacky different ways to flap your arms and hands around and—oh...wait. It's about the book The Wave. Well. We were ill-prepared for this description. Moving along.

5th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:28

And, sure, you might not want to write a paper that covers all of these topics at once…

00:32

…but by picking one of ‘em, and starting with an engaging, relevant question, you’re [Hand picks a topic]

00:36

going to wind up with a good research paper.

00:39

Nay – an excellent research paper. How do you like them apples?

00:44

When trying to nail down the subject you want to focus on, think about what the characters

00:48

are doing in the novel… …what they're thinking… [Dino discussing how to pick a topic]

00:51

…or even the stuff they make you think about.

00:53

All fair game as topics for your paper.

00:55

But just deciding on a topic isn't enough to get you a suitable research question.

00:59

You also have to see if you can come up with a particular question about how the topic

01:03

relates to the text.

01:05

Example time! Let’s think about education in The Wave. This story is not only about [Man holding The Wave novel]

01:10

how students and teachers learn about academic subjects in school…

01:13

…but also about how they learn to be individuals and make their own choices.

01:16

Even, um…bad choices. [Man on top of a car and car crashes]

01:18

With that general topic in mind, there are a ton of research questions you could ask.

01:22

You could make it personal and ask: Would you like to have Ben Ross for a teacher?

01:26

Why or why not?

01:27

Or, you could think about what the characters learned and ask: Do you think Ben's experiment

01:32

was good for his students? What, if anything, do you think they learned?

01:36

And what did Ben learn?

01:37

You could even open up the question to consider what the book taught you about the world. [Girl reading The Wave]

01:41

Maybe: Has this novel helped you better understand the Holocaust? Why?

01:45

Or even: Given that Ben went so far in his attempts to help his students understand,

01:51

is The Wave commenting on a flaw in the education system?

01:54

See? One topic, a million questions.

01:57

And really, you can do the exact same thing with any other topic. [Man looking at himself in a mirror]

02:00

What if we were to focus on identity instead of education?

02:03

Seeing how all the students – and even the teacher – undergo drastic changes in their [Peoples clothing changing]

02:06

identities over just a few days, we might ask:

02:09

Which characters in The Wave undergo the most drastic identity changes?

02:13

Are these permanent changes or just temporary bouts of confusion?

02:17

Or, we could get a bit more specific and see how particular character’s identities changed.

02:21

Take Robert, for example.

02:23

We might ask: Why do you think Robert creates the position of bodyguard for himself?

02:27

How does that affect his identity?

02:28

We could also focus on Ben, asking: What happens to Ben when he becomes Wave leader?

02:33

Does he truly change as a person?

02:35

Or we could look at Laurie and ask: Why is Laurie able to stay true to herself in the [Laurie stood in a corridor]

02:39

face of The Wave? What about the other characters who manage to do the same thing?

02:43

With countless topics to choose from, and even more research questions to ask about

02:47

each one, you could write about The Wave for days on end. [Man at a table with scrumpled sheets of paper]

02:50

Just remember to take breaks for eating and sleeping and stuff.