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From Big to Small…. Unfocused to Focused. And…. * a Mr. Levoy Power Point. Broad to Narrow. What’s on our plate…. * Do Now: Summer Choices * Power Point: Learn about a toy that was a Levoy favorite * Class discussion: Learn about Dr. Sharpensaw

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from big to small

From Big to Small…

Unfocused to Focused


* a Mr. Levoy Power Point

Broad to Narrow

what s on our plate
What’s on our plate…
  • * Do Now: Summer Choices
  • * Power Point: Learn about a toy that was

a Levoy favorite

  • * Class discussion: Learn about Dr. Sharpensaw
  • * Group Activity: Work in pairs

To take something that is big and make it smaller is to “shrink it.”

Some examples of ‘shrinking’ include…



Shrinky Dinks!

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Mike TV (Willy Wonka)


Sometimes we need to ‘shrink’ our choices. We do this when we have a lot of information available to us, and need to narrow down our options to get to a focused direction.

How does one choose a car?

How does one choose a video game system to buy?

How does one choose a life partner for the ultimate commitment??


Go from Broad to Narrow…

I need to find a Doctor





(narrow and focused)



Pulling it all together…

What is the purpose of ‘shrinking’ a topic?

How can the strategy of ‘shrinking’ be used in school?


Purpose of ‘shrinking’…

‘Shrinking’ is used to narrow down a selection when there is an abundant amount of choices to choose from.

In school ‘shrinking’ can be used as a…

Brainstorming tool for focusing your topic for a piece of writing.

If we can limit our choices for day-to-day selections, then we can perform similar strategies for writing.

…such as identifying a Research Topic!


Definition of Research…

Anything that involves collecting information whether it is in the form of data or knowledge about a specific item or topic.

A research question is a clear and focused question that serves as the foundation for your research.


The notion of research is used in daily instances. We ‘research’ when we…

Look for a doctor

Select a team to route for

Shop for the best sale

Choosing a concert to go to

Where to go for vacation

What food to buy that fit our diet


Human beings are typically a very ‘curious’ breed…

We wonder…

“Are we alone in this universe or is there a Bazzaro world that exists in the depths of space?”

We question…

“How did engineers build such an enormous and complex subway system beneath the island of Manhattan?”



Shrink the Topic:

Choosing too broad of a topic causes research to lose its focus. Shrink a topic until the subject is manageable and more focused…

Potential topic:


(extremely broad) c

What type of animal do we want to narrow it down to?





…but what about the Giraffes? What do we

want to know about them?




Giraffes are dwindling in number (why?)

BETTER! Now continue to refine your topic. Consider things like: location? What type of Giraffe?




Giraffes are dwindling in number

The giraffes of Africa are becoming endangered.

When you believe you have a narrowed topic, then change your statement into a question to form your: Research question


Focused Research Question…

  • Why are the Rothschild giraffes in Kenya, Africa becoming an endangered species?

We went from broad: (animals) ….

To narrow and focused: (our research question)


Key words to avoid: who, when, where

Topic: Color Theory

Ex: Who identified color theory?

When was color theory first explored?

Where was color theory first applied?

These questions are too narrow…there is limited research that is involved in finding the answer.


Key words: Why and how is a good first step!

Topic: Color Theory

Ex: Why does color impact our mood?

How can color choice add or take away from a

room or office space?

These questions require more of an explanation. More ‘research’ is involved. This is a good thing!


‘What’ questions can go either way!

Sample Topic: Color Theory

Ex: What is color theory? (ok…but too narrow)

What colors make spaces feel ‘warm’ (eh…narrow)

What ways can color be used to create

different feelings in different spaces? (hmm…)

A new key word has come from our brainstorming!

Different spaces = interior design


Try to take 2 concepts and meld them together to form one potential research topic.

New focus: Color Theory

Interior Design

Do these two topics have any connections that you can link?


The Chosen Topic!

Original key words: Color Tone

Interior Design

* How can color choice change the feeling of an interior space? *


Continue to focus, shape, and hone in on your research question by rephrasing it.

It may take 4 or 6 attempts to articulate what you really want to research.

You want to come up with a question that will be informative to explore through your research.



Step 1: brainstorm a focus and topic

Step 2: put it into the form of a question

- Use the “why, how, what”

- Stay away from “who, when, where”




When identifying a research question, make sure your topic is not too broad, or you will be overwhelmed with the amount of information related to your topic.

Conversely, make sure your question is not too narrow, or you will not be able to find enough information.

Too broad = too much info

Too narrow = not enough info

** Strong research questions usually have 2 concepts or topics to explore…

Sample Research Focus: Interior Design and Color Theory


Getting started…

What are your interests?

2. What would you like to know more about?


Our mission and goals for the unit:

To have you understand how to properly complete the 6 steps of formal research in information literacy.

To give you the skills you need to get through this process so you are not overwhelmed, frustrated, and bitter about doing a research assignment.


Shrink the Topic:

Choosing too large of a topic causes research to lose its focus. “Shrink a topic until the subject is manageable and more focused…

Potential topic: Animals

  • Animals (too large)
  • Animals in Africa (still too large)
  • Giraffes (a little better but still unfocused)
  • Giraffes in Kenya (what about them?)
  • The Rothschild giraffe in western Kenya is endangered (focused!)

Education Student achievement

  • Education
  • Language Arts
  • Reading and Writing
  • Different Genres of Literature
  • Student preferences/ interests of genre
  • Student achievement when reading preferred genre

What affect do reading specific genres in school have on student achievement?