Study Guides

  Designed to make your life a little easier...
This section features various topics that may prove helpful whether you are preparing for a weekly assessment, laying the groundwork for a research based project or screening companies in preparation for the Stock Market Game.  This page will be updated regularly over the school year as we look for new ways to help you prepare for each challenge that lies ahead.

It's what your Aunt Lula would want.


How to Take Effective Notes-
The Amazing Octopus (
   Hooked: The Asian Carp Invasion (
   Attack of Frankenfish (Huffington Post-8/13)
   Fossil Blunders and The Case of Mistaken Identity (10/14)

           Taking notes is essential to a student's ability to identify what points are relevant and which ones are not. All too often, students try to rely on their ability to remember key data without taking the time to record their thoughts or observations.   Research supports the fact that well intentioned students will forget a significant portion of what they have learned within 2-3 hours after leaving the classroom.   Yikes!

Click on the image of the Andy Rooney Beetle in order  to proceed.

The Scientific Method - Part I
  "Using the Scientific Method to solve the mystery of The Roswell Incident"

      In 1947 a strange unidentified craft crashed on farmer Braswell's farm in Roswell New Mexico.  The debris crom the crash featured unusual properties with "alien" markings never seen before.  Was this an alien spacecraft from another galaxy or just a somple weather balloon as claimed by the US government?    Students will learn the basic steps of the Scientific Method while applying it to the circumstances surrounding one of the greatest mysteries of alien visitation and governmental secrecy- The Roswell Incident.  Click on the picture in order to find out more.


The Scientific Method Part II
The Riddle of the Skull​​
       Things are not always what they seem.  The picture on the right will reveal a mystery surrounding the discovery of an unusual skull and partial skeleton that has baffled scientists for years.  While the physical features of these skulls appear to have some human characteristics, something is clearly not right.  Can you identify the origin of these bones using the scientific method?  Click on the skeleton in order to proceed.


The Scientific Method Part III
Creature Feature: The Lungfish

       The Natural Kingdom is filled with a variety of plants and animals living in a variety of different environments.  Evolution has taught us that in order for any species or group of animals to survive, they must be able to adapt to changes in their environment.  Some creatures have been living on this Earth for millions of years such as the Chambered Nautilus for example.  Insects are another group of creatures who are masters of adaptation.  Pictured right is an interesting creature that has some very unusual characteristics.  This organism lives in a very harsh environment and is capable of surviving conditions when most others cannot.  Use the scientific method to identify who this creature is and how it has adapted.


How to Outline​​
The guide to organizing your notes

        Outlining is critical to a student's ability to manage large amounts of information or data while identifying what points are relevant and which ones are not.  If done correctly, students are able to streamline their assignments, organize their data in a logical sequence and document their results much more effectively. It is easier to cope with large amounts of information by organizing it in a way that makes sense and is easier to retain.  This particular lesson plan incorporates a research presentation on Charles Darwin which will provide students with LOTS of readily available data.




And now, introducing in this corner....
How to write an amazing introduction (without bloodshed)

        Many of us do not realize the importance of the Introduction in setting the stage for the entire research paper.  It can literally set “the tone” for the rest of your presentation while giving the reader a tantalizing taste of what is to follow. 

Your goal is to grab the reader, get their attention in an effort to stimulate interest and enthusiasm for your report or project.  You are preparing the reader by implanting an idea, a feeling or question in their head before they begin the main body of your text.  By doing so, you compel the reader to turn the page.  You may wish to provoke interest, concern, sympathy, anger or fear as a result of carefully chosen “grabber factoids”.

Click on the green fanged spider to learn more about grabbing your reader without getting slapped.

Research, research and more research....
The quality of your project paper will be determined by the quality of your research. 

    For years I have observed students diving headfirst into research topics that seemed on the surface to be exhilarating, cutting edge, provocative and compelling only to see their efforts dashed on the rocks of despair.  The reason?  Students did not take the time to assess whether or not their selection of research topics offered them enough choices of quality references or credible sources of useful information.  Performing research is a science, and doing it right has tremendous benefits.  Taking shortcuts by not using an outline or failing to check the credibility of your sources could have yield disastrous results.  Not cool.

    Click on the Game of Thrones link above to learn more about how to conduct research like a pro and leave no stone unturned. 

Creative Writing Assignments....
A select group of writing topics for those students with limited attention spans 

    From time to time, students forget why they attend school and believe that life revolves around Fortnite, Starbucks and Instagram.  Such a shame.  You can bet that your first (and last) job interview will NOT begin with "So what level are you on in Fortnite"?  Here is a delightful selection of creative writing topics from which to choose.  Follow the directions carefully. 

Please note that there is an English and Spanish version.


Bell Ringer Templates....
How to make this daily activity a little easier 

    Part of the daily classroom routine is the Bell Ringer, sometimes referred to as the "Do Now" assignment.  This exercise usually consists of a single question that either introduces a new topic or idea, or is simply a review of an existing one.  While student responses may consist of a few short sentences, it's really easy to lose or misplace the daily Bell Ringer amongst the intellectual rubble found inside backpacks and subject binders.  This simple template makes it easy for students to consolidate their "ringers" while making it easier to read. 

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