Discovery Quest

Discovery Quest Speeches

October topics

1.  Discover a career that interests you that requires the knowledge and use of science, math, or both.  What about it interests you?

2.  Discover superstitions and/or “old wives” tales. Why do they exist?  Tell about at least one and its history (how it started).

3.  Discover your favorite dream.  Tell us about your favorite dream and what you think it means.  Tell us why we dream when we sleep.

4.  Discover an endangered animal.  When was it placed on the endangered species list?  What is threatening this animal?  How can we help?

November topics

1.  Discover how to prevent or reduce crime in our community.

2.  Discover a famous Californian, past or present.  Tell us about him/her including why he/she became famous.

    - A list of famous Californians

   - Famous Californians index

   - Sally Ride: First Woman in Space

   - Famous Californians from FactMoster (scroll to the bottom of the page)

3.  Discover how memories are preserved.  What does your family do to preserve special memories?

4.  Discover Thanksgiving.  Why do we celebrate this holiday by having a feast that traditionally includes turkey?

December topics

1. Discover the law of supply and demand.  How does it affect the cost of your holiday gifts?

2.  Discover your holiday traditions.  Which ones come from other cultures or countries?

3.  Discover snowflakes.  What shapes are there are why do those shapes form?

4.  Discover how rainbows are formed.  Teach us about the science behind rainbows, including where the sun is when you see a rainbow.

January topics

1.  Discover New Year’s traditions from around the world.  Tell us how you celebrate the New Year and how two other countries or cultures celebrate.

2.  Betsy Ross was born on January 1, 1752.  Discover Betsy Ross and the first American flag.  Tell us a bit about Betsy Ross, including why she was picked to sew the flag.  Describe the first flag.

3.  Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706.  Discover his life, including his major accomplishments and inventions.

4.  Discover Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Tell us about his major accomplishments, including why we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

5.  Discover more about the person you were assigned for the Biography Poster Project. Learn something new by exploring other resource. Tell us about the most important and interesting information that you learned about the person. You can also create the project found on the last page of California Studies Weekly, week 7.

February topics

1.  February is Black History Month.  Discover a famous African-American from the list: Feb Discovery Quest List.doc.  Tell us about his or her life and contributions.  What would life be like without this person?

2.  Rosa Parks is known as "The Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement."  Discover the effects of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  Include information about Rosa Parks and what happened on December 1, 1955.  Tell us who lead the boycott, what happened during the boycott, and how it ended.  What would you have done if you were Rosa Parks - stay seated, or move to the back of the bus?

3.  Once the Supreme Court ruled that segregation was illegal, African-American students were allowed to go to school with white students.  Discover one of two well-known cases of desegregation of schools, Ruby Bridges Hall or The Little Rock Nine.  Tell us why it was important to American History, what happened when they entered their new school, and how you would feel if you were in the same situation.

4.  Harriet Tubman was one of the most important African-Americans in history.  Discover why she was so important and what role she played in the Underground Railroad.  Describe the Underground Railroad in detail. Would you have risked your life to help free slaves?

March & April
1. Earth Day is April 22.  Discover the origin of Earth Day and respond to one of the following:
      •How can we celebrate Earth Day everyday? What have two of the President's Environmental Youth Award winners done to help our environment?  (Be specific.  Elaborate on at least two ways.)

      •What is climate change?  Include information about the impact of the greenhouse effect and what we can do to stop it.
      •Explain the phrase, "It's not waste until you waste it."  What is waste, why is it a problem, and what can be done to reduce and/or manage it?

      2.  April is Holocaust Remembrance Month.  Briefly, what was the Holocaust, where did it take place, and why did it occur?  What does the Holocaust teach you about tolerating differences?  In addition, respond to one of the following:

      •Discover a hero of the Holocaust.  Tell us about the hero including what he or she risked and why.

     • Discover a victim or survivor of the Holocaust.  What does his or her story teach us?

      3.  Albert Einstein would have celebrated his 131th birthday on   March 14.  Discover Einstein's life and major accomplishments, including a brief description of The Theory of Relativity or E=MC squared.

      4.  Look at this pattern:   1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21. . .  Can you continue this famous number sequence?  It's called the Fibonacci sequence, named after the Italian mathematician who "discovered" it.  Discover Leonardo Fibonacci and his famous number sequence.  As a bonus, find examples of this sequence in nature, music, and/or art.  (Hint: Count flower petals in multi-layer flowers for starters.)

      5. Discover the Japanese Internment Camps. What were they? Who was made to go and why? Tell us how you think you would have felt if you were made to go. What did learning about the Japanese Internment Camps teach you about tolerating differences?

Tips for Improving Your Speech:

   1. Start researching your topic early.  As soon as you are given the list of topics, choose your favorite and hit the library!
   2. Use more than one resource to gather information.  Ask our librarian, Mrs. Lewis to help you.  You should also check out the links that I have posted on the “Discovery Quest Research Links” page of this website.
   3. Paraphrase your findings.  Do not read what someone else wrote.  Instead, put it in your own words.
   4. Share information that is interesting to you.  The more interested you are in the topic, the more your audience will be.
   5. Decide how you will deliver your speech:   
        - by reading from a fully written manuscript, but being familiar enough to keep eye contact,
        - speaking extemporaneously from a memorized or written outline.  This means that you write bullet points, or bits of         information, on notecards, and then elaborate while you are presenting.  This requires a great deal of familiarity on the topic.  You have to know a lot about what you are presenting in order to discuss it without a written speech.
   6. Practice, practice, practice!  Write or prepare your speech at least a week in advance, and practice out loud every day.
   7. Have confidence in yourself and be proud of the effort you have put into your speech!

*There are no speeches during the months of May and June.
*March & April are combined.
Parents, please supervise your child’s use of the internet.
 Need an extension? You may have extra time to complete your project as long as you notify me BEFORE the day you are scheduled to deliver your speech.

Thank you Mrs. Renz for developing this wonderful learning idea.