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Historical Introductions: Learning Research Methods (Part 1 of 2)


Social Studies, History, Performance Arts


Elementary, 3-5
Middle School, 6-8
High School, 9-12

Time required

40 minutes

Materials required

  • Chalkboard or whiteboard
  • Chalk or markers

Related background reading


Related documents


Related links


Lesson Plan


With this lesson students will research an individual influential in Guam’s history and begin developing an introductory speech. (This lesson is also a good way of introducing the material for a new semester, and for introducing students to each other.)


  • Students will learn the resources available for researching Guam history
  • Students will select an individual to research in greater detail
  • Students will develop a research plan

Questions or Assessment

  • Where do we go to conduct research?
  • Where can we specifically go to conduct research on Guam?
  • What sort of information is important to know when researching an individual?


Teacher prep
Create a list of people students will learn about during the course of the semester. Be sure to visit Guampedia to search for more individuals under the “People” category.

Overview of Research Resources (12 minutes)

  1. Ask students for ways they research topics
  2. List them on the board. They may include:
    • Ask parents, family, and friends
    • Ask teachers
    • Ask community leaders knowledgeable in this field
    • Know from experience
    • Text (Books, magazines, letters, newspapers, etc.)
    • Television and Radio
    • Internet sources
    • Library
  3. Note strengths and weaknesses of each method (adjust how in-depth you go according to the abilities of the class)

Overview of Research Resources for Guam History (10 minutes)

  1. Ask students for ways to research Guam history
  2. Guide them to the following answers and list them on the board:
    • Textbooks
    • First-hand accounts (parents, grandparents, relatives, and community leaders)
    • Libraries (identify any school libraries or local libraries accessible to the students)
    • If students are old enough, likely high school sophomores or older, suggest the Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC) at UOG. If students can’t get to MARC some of its materials are online either at Guampedia’s MARC Collections or at MARC.
    • Experts (teachers and professors)
    • Internet sources such as

Assign Historical Introductions Project (15 minutes)

  1. Explain to students that they will each research an important person in Guam’s history.
  2. They may not know much about the time-period that they are researching, but there is some basic information they can determine.
    • When did they live?
    • Where are they from?
    • What did they do?
    • What do they seem to be most important for?
  3. Tell the students that they must use their research in a brief “introduction” to the class.
    • They will pretend to be the character, and introduce themselves to the class.
    • In the introduction, they will cover some basic information.
      • “I am blank
      • “I am important in Guam’s history because I…”
      • “One fun fact about me is that I…”
    • Provide an example, by “introducing” yourself as an important historical figure.
  4. Assign each student a different historical figure (either by pulling names from a hat, having them choose, or randomly assigning)

Recap (3 minutes)
Recap what we’ve done and learned in the lesson

“We’ve learned how research is generally conducted, and more importantly, we learned how to find resources to conduct research on Guam history. Tonight, please use these resources in preparation for your upcoming introduction.”

Ask students for their favorite parts of the lesson.

Remind students that they will be “introducing” their individual in the next class.