TEL Lesson Plan
Get to the Meat of the Topic

Grade Level: 7th / 8th
Subject: English/Language Arts
Time Frame: One or two 50-minute class(es)


Students focus on narrowing topics in order to find an appropriate research topic for a research paper on meat.

Databases/Other Resources

Infotrac Student Edition



Steps for Teacher



Steps for Librarian



Steps for Student

1. Brainstorm what students know about meat, using various topics/subtopics of meat. May use outline to show this.

2. Access TEL and Infotrac Student Edition.  Click "subject" search.

3. Search for "meat." View the subdivisions. 

4. Have student peruse subdivisions.  Why is this topic subdivided?

5.  Teacher or librarian models how he/she would decide on a research paper topic by using the subdivision feature and choosing a topic. This includes using "think alouds" in order to show students teacher/librarian thinking regarding narrowing a topic, creating a research question, etc.

6.  Then have students look through various subdivisions. Students need to come up with at least two different research questions they could answer - on on health aspects and another on a chosen subtopic.

7.  With each research question, find an article that would answer that question. Write the name of that article down.

8.  Read through the article.  Does it contain facts or opinions? Both? Give an example from the article of either or both.

9. Does it contain information that is interesting, but not helpful for your question? Write down an example.

10.  Reflection: 1) Why is it important to explore subtopics before writing a research paper? 2) How do facts and opinions change the reliability/trustworthiness of an article for a research paper? 3) Why do databases use subdivisions? Is it helpful or not?

Related Activities

Students may interview a vegetarian.

Students may keep track of their meat consumption and compare it to the food pyramid.

Students may research meat consumption through health-related books and databases.

Students will research the health aspects of eating meat using search engines on the louboutin stiefel web. Students will compare and contrast information found at the following sites:  

Content Standards

English/Language Arts--Grades 7-8

Standard 4 - Research

Standard 5 - Logic

Learning Expectations/Grade Level Expectations

Standard 4 - Research


Grade Level Expectiations:


GLE 0701.4.1 and GLE0801.4.1 Define and narrow a problem or research topic.

GLE 0701.4.3 and GLE 0801.4.3 Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.




Performance Indicators State

Standard 4 - Research

Grade Level Expectiations:



SPI 0701.4.1 and SPI 0801.A.1 Select the most focused research topic. 


SPI 0701.4.5 and SPI 0801.4.5 Discern irrelevant research material from written text.  



Standard 5 - Logic

Grade Level Expectiations:


SPI 0701.5.2 and SPI 0801.5.2 Evaluate text for fact/opinion.  (Logic strand)



Students are assessed on fact/opinion:

Students are assessed on choice of research topic (narrow enough?)

Students are assessed on database exploration; give instruction as needed.

ISTE Computer Literacy and Usage Standards

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

Students use critical thinking skills  to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make iinformed decisions using appropriate digital tools and louboutin slingbacks resources.


AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner

1. Creativity and Innovation

1.1.2 Display initiative and engagement by posing questions and investigating answers beyond collection of superficial facts.

1.1.4 Maintain a critical stance by questioning the validity and accuracy of all information.