The following Projects are an assortment of long-term activities that can be completed individually, in groups or as a class. We have provided starting points for research and development; you and the students can work together to create a more detailed plan of action. Consider the following two recommendations. First, because of me amount of work involved in a Project, students should choose one of great interest to them. Second, to encourage excellence and promote student-student learning, students should present their finished projects to me rest of the class, to the school and to me community, if appropriate.
Project 1: Research Questions and Action Projects
Project 1 differs from me others: it is a list of possible research topics organized according to some key ideas and addressed to students.
In assigning a Research Question or Action Project, we ask that you allow students to choose their topic- either one provided or one of their own. You might also:
- Specify length of piece.
- Make clear the purpose and the audience.
- Suggest sources and ideas for information.
- Provide in-class time for compiling information and writing.
- Require students to exchange papers and provide written feedback.
- Provide a breakdown of due-dates for the following stages: choice of topic, outline, rough draft and final draft.
- Permit students to supplement a written report with a skit, a piece of artwork, a piece of music, a dance, a video, or a multimedia presentation.
Provide me students with evaluation criteria that include:
- accuracy of the content based on guiding questions.
- clarity of writing.
- effective organization of main ideas.
- use of detailed examples or citing evidence to support their conclusions.
Project 1: Teacher Activity Notes - Research Questions
PROJECT #1 Research and Action Projects
The following projects are an assortment of longterm activities focused on research and action. You may want to assign them as research topics for individuals or group research projects. Encourage students to present their research products as a culmination of their work to their classmates.
1. Sexual and Asexual Reproduction. Reproduction occurs continuously all around us. Research the two different types of reproduction: sexual and asexual (see evolution and genetics units). Use examples from animals, plants, single cell organisms. Science, Language Arts
2. Childbearing: A Historical Perspective. Bring in examples of art from different cultures and over time to reflect changing and/or different views of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. Social Studies, Visual Arts
3. Learning the Truth about Sex: A Parent's Perspective. Question your parents about who told them “the truth,” and any myths they grew up believing or hearing. Language Arts, Social Studies
4. Medical Tests During Pregnancy. Research tests done during pregnancy to detect possible complications:
CVS: chorionic villi sampling
Tests done to mother to ensure a healthy pregnancy and normal delivery:
Ultrasound, ultrasound stress and nonstress tests
sugar in urine-possible diabetes
5. Physicians vs. Midwives. Research the changing views and medical treatments of pregnancy. When did physicians begin to replace midwives as primary caregivers? How did their treatments differ from midwives? Where did your great grandmother give birth? Your grandmother? Your mother? Who delivered their babies? Science, Social Studies, Language Arts
6. Prenatal Care Brochure. Write a prenatal care brochure for young teenage mothers who might not have the money to receive prenatal care from a physician. Science, Social Studies, Language Arts
7. Childbirth: A Historical Perspective. How have attitudes towards childbirth and methods of delivery changed over the years in this country? Is there any such thing as a typical delivery in terms of time, discomfort, or medication? Social Studies, Science
8. Issues in Childbirth. Choose one or two of the following topics to explore.
- What is natural childbirth? Describe some of the training methods and explain their logic and success.
- Research the history and use and common reasons for Cesarean sections.
- What is a midwife? Under what circumstances can they be used in your state?
- What is a birthing center? In what ways does it differ from a hospital delivery?
- What are the medical costs of having a baby? What is a neonatal unit? What is the daily cost of keeping a child in one for a day/week/month? Who should bear the cost? Is there any point at which the cost is too great? Social Studies, Science, Health
9. Witness A Birth. Call a local animal shelter, or ask around the school-can the class visit any local pets during the birth of their babies? Science
10. Life Experiences. Visit a neonatal unit in the hospital, bring in a newborn and mother to talk to and observe, invite an OB/GYN or midwife to visit class. Write about your reactions to experience. Language Arts, Science
11. Adoption. Research the different kinds of adoption available to couples: open, closed, public, private, international. How many children are adopted every year? Finish this project with a debate about the merits of open and closed adoptions. Social Studies, Language Arts.
12. Looking At Child Labor Laws. Research the development of child labor laws, and get a feel for why children worked, and how people took advantage of them. Bring to class any photos, art or music that reflect the history of this public policy issue. What do the laws of your state say about: minimum age to work, hours per week, kinds of tasks, compensation. Finish this project with a debate on some controversial topic your class found interesting. Social Studies, Language Arts, Visual Arts.
13. Teenage Pregnancy: A Historical Perspective. Explore some historical examples of how society handled young pregnant adolescents. Use any art forms to illustrate your findings. You might want to make a collage of your findings.
- young women sent away to have their babies
- reputations tarnished
- banished from families and communities forever
Social Studies, Language Arts, Visual Arts
14. A Family: How Much Does It Cost? Research the cost of raising a family. How you will support yourself and your child for one year. Make some assumptions about parents/father, wages, and cost of childcare. Try some different variables to see what you would have to do to survive. Math, Social Studies
15. Birth Defects: What Is Being Done? Research local agencies such as the March of Dimes to see what is being done to fight birth defects. Social Studies, Science, Health
16. Population Control Efforts: China and Germany. Research the population control policies in China and former East Germany. In China, births are restricted to one child per couple-what are the implications of this policy? How are people responding? In former East Germany, the population is declining so rapidly, the government is offering rewards for couples who have more than one child. What is happening there, how do people feel? Why aren't they having children? Social Studies, Health, Language Arts
17. Make A Poster. Design a poster for your local Planned Parenthood office or community center about responsible parenting, to help prevent unwanted pregnancies, unwanted children, child abuse, or a related topic of your choosing. Health, Science, Language Arts, Visual Arts
18. Sexuality: A Historical Perspective on Changing Values. Research sexual themes in art and music in this country over last several hundred years. Bring in examples and put together a portfolio of pieces that support your view of how sexual attitudes have changed. Language Arts, Performing Arts, Social Studies
19. Abortion: The Legal Debate. Investigate the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case and subsequent abortion cases: What do they say? Understand how Supreme Court cases affect public policy, but judges supposed to be impartial. How do judges promote their views without sacrificing integrity of job: interpreting the Constitution. Social Studies, Health, Language Arts
20. Abortion in Your State. Investigate: What are the laws in your state? If you wanted an abortion, where could you go, how much would it cost, and who would pay for it? Social Studies, Health, Science
Project 2: Teacher Activity Notes - Multicultural Perspective: Issues of Reproduction
Summary The process of reproduction is universal, but the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting vary from culture to culture. In this project students choose a culture and research the ways in which attitudes and behaviors toward this subject vary from ours. If you had your students do the multicultural project in the unit on Your Changing Body you may want them to continue with researching the same country. If this is a new project for you and your class, suggested cultures to study include: Israel, Iran, India, China and/or Japan, an African nation, Mexico, or students could choose a culture from their heritage.
Estimated Time 3-5 weeks depending on length of time you have available to spend on the unit
Access to the library and, if possible, access to the internet
- a portfolio of research on multicultural differences related to reproductive issues
- a display board showcasing what they have found
- a presentation to the class summarizing their observations.
- Ask students to choose a country to research. They may work alone, in pairs, or in small groups at your discretion.
- Have each group keep a portfolio of the information they gather to save and share at the end. Designate bulletin board space for students to display their work as the unit progresses.
- As background, have students locate their country on a map, and research some basic facts, such as population, size of country, type of economy (what kind of work do most people do), and any interesting historical or current facts.
- Assign the specific research questions listed below as you come to the sections in this unit that cover the topic.
- At the end of the unit ask students to share what they have discovered with other members of the class by doing any or all of the following: create a display on the bulletin board, make an oral presentation, create a comparison chart, submit a written report.
Pregnancy. Research treatment of pregnancy in the countries you selected. What is prenatal care like? Do women commonly get tests done to monitor the health of the baby and progression of the pregnancy? How is a pregnant woman viewed? Do women continue to work throughout their pregnancies?
Childbirth. What is a common birth experience for women in the countries selected? Are babies born in hospitals or at home? Do men attend the births? Who cares for the baby in the weeks following the birth? Who delivers babies? Who cares for the mother during pregnancy and childbirth? How long do they rest after delivery?
What Are Families Like? How large is the average family? Do extended family live together? What is the rate of divorce? Average age of becoming a first-time parent? Average number of children?
Teen pregnancy. Look at teen pregnancy. Compare attitudes, rates, and what most teens do (do they keep their babies, put them up for adoption?) Is teen pregnancy related to educational or financial status as it is here?
Effects of Adolescent Pregnancy. Explore the physical, emotional, social and financial effects of being a teenage parent in your selected culture.
Population Trends. Research birth and death rates in your country, for 200 years ago, 100 years ago, and today. What population trends do you see? Research historical examples of war, disease, and famine in these countries that wiped out large numbers of people, and changed their societies.
Contraceptive Use. What percentage of the population uses contraceptives? What contraceptive methods are most commonly used? What is the prevailing attitude toward contraception?
Abortion. What are the views about and laws for abortion in the countries selected? How many abortions are performed a year? On teenagers?