Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Observe and Report

The Foundations of Sociology

Chelsee Wilson, Mariana DeLoera, Ryan Rahhal | Published: July 13th, 2022 by K20 Center

  • Grade Level Grade Level 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
  • Subject Subject Social Studies
  • Course Course Sociology
  • Time Frame Time Frame 180 minutes
  • Duration More 2-3 class periods


In this lesson, students will explore different research methods used by sociologists. Students will work in groups to analyze different readings and summarize what they have read. To extend their learning, students will create visual representations of the different research methods to display across the classroom.

Essential Question(s)

How do sociologists gather data and conduct research?



Students participate in a brief discussion by responding to a prompt.


Students complete a Card Sort to identify their knowledge of sociological research methods.


Students complete Jigsaw readings over the different types of sociological research methods.


Students work in groups to create an Anchor Chart.


Students participate in a Gallery Walk.


  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • Card Sort handout (attached; one per group)

  • Card Sort answer key (attached)

  • Research Methods Jigsaw Readings (attached; one per student)

  • Jigsaw Reading Note Catcher (attached; one per student)

  • Poster paper (one per group)

  • Craft supplies


5 Minute(s)

Use the attached Lesson Slides to guide the lesson. Review the essential question and lesson objective on slides 3 and 4 with students.

Show slide 5 to initiate a discussion with the following question: How do we know what we know about other groups of people?

Allow some time for students to come up with a response.

Once sufficient time passes, have students share how they come to know information about other individuals or groups. You can write their responses on the whiteboard or let their answers generate a class discussion.


15 Minute(s)

Now that students have considered the topic and been introduced to the objective, explain that in small groups they are going to complete a Card Sort activity using different sociological research methods.

Show slide 6 with instructions on how to complete a card sort and divide students into groups as you deem appropriate. Ask students to work together to match the research methods with the scenario they believe is correct.

Once all groups have completed the card sorting activity, call on groups and have them share out one term and matching scenario, explaining their reasoning.

See the attached Card Sort Answer Key for the correct responses to the card sort.

If using the digital card sort, provide students with your session code. Then, have students go to and enter the session code.


45 Minute(s)

Show slide 7 and tell students they are going to participate in a Jigsaw reading, where they read an article for one of the research methods from the Card Sort activity.

Organize students into seven groups. Every group is responsible for reading one of the research methods and becoming an expert on that topic.

Distribute the Jigsaw Reading Packet and Jigsaw Reading Note Catcher to each student. Once groups have all the materials, assign each group a research method. The readings are numbered 1-7 for easier designation. After each individual has read their group's assigned reading, have groups discuss the reading and fill out their portion of the Note Catcher.

Once each group has discussed their section and completed their portion of the Note Catcher, give them time to discuss how they should teach their research method to others.

Reorganize students into groups, where each group is made up of a student representing a different research method. Have each group member share out their portion of the Note Catcher, teaching other group members about their research method. By the end of this step, students should have a completed Note Catcher.


25 Minute(s)

Show slide 9, which includes instructions on how to complete an Anchor Chart.

Now that students have a completed their Note Catcher, instruct students to remain in their current groups and create an Anchor Chart about the seven different research methods.

Each Anchor Chart should include:

  • The seven research methods

  • Graphic representations (pictures or drawings that represent the method)

  • A description/definition of the method

  • An example scenario in which each method would work best


10 Minute(s)

Show slide 10. Ask each group to hang their completed Anchor Chart somewhere in the room.

Invite groups to participate in a Gallery Walk to view the work of their classmates. Give each group a pad of sticky notes.

Have each group elect a spokesperson to stand near their Anchor Chart and explain their presentation to visiting classmates. Other group members should rotate to each chart around the room, listen to the presentation, ask questions, and offer suggestions by attaching sticky notes to posters.


K20 Center. (n.d.). Anchor Charts. Strategies.

K20 center. (n.d.). Card Sort. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Elbow Partners. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Gallery Walk/Carousel. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Jigsaw. Strategies.

K20 Center. (n.d.). Desmos Classroom. Tech tools.