Topic Chooser Helper

//Topic Chooser Helper
Topic Chooser Helper2018-08-02T10:11:05-05:00
Topic Chooser Helper (DOCX)

This Topic Chooser Helper is adapted from Rob Lamb’s Topic Chooser Helper Lesson plan. A Microsoft Word format of the original is available for download to adapt for your own use.

Topic Chooser Helper (DOCX)

Topic: This is the first pass on deciding your topic choice. It helps you think about how much your understand your topic and whether you can find useful data.

Time: 45 minutes

• Laptop
• Topic Chooser Helper


  • Choose 5 possible topics. In classrooms, the teacher may go over what makes a successful topic.
  • Refine topic choices by going through the first 3 steps.
  • Take the best three and search online for 3 good resources for each of them
  • Choose your favorite topic and list any personal connections to the topic.
  • In the classroom, the teacher will review the topic and either sign off on it or meet with the student to refine their topics or pick new topics.
  • Once a topic is decided on, the next step going through the infographic benchmark to put together a plan of action.

Choose and Refine your Topic

Step 1: List 5 top topics you are interested in pursuing.

Step 2: Based on step 1, list the topics that involve science. Reframe the wording or dive into detailed questions for this step, so that you once again have a list of 5.

Step 3: Based on step 1 and 2, list the topics that can be represented visually and contain data.

Step 4: Choose three of the best topics from steps 2 and 3.

Step 5: For each of the three topics selected in step 4, find 3 online sources of information, and for each source of information (you will have 9 sources), say whether the source is credible (look up the source on Wikipedia), useful to your topic, and whether it has data.

Source Is it Credible? Is it Useful? Does it have Data?
Website name, Webpage Name, Link Yes/No/Unsure Yes/No/Unsure Yes/No/Unsure

Step 6: Which one is your favorite topic? Why? Do you have a personal connection to it?

Next Steps

Once you’ve settled on a topic, start thinking about data in Data: Finding, Using, Visualizing. You can also jump ahead and start making a design plan for your infographic using the Infographic Design Plan.