Prompt sixth graders to dive deeper into subjects using this list of 6th grade research topics.
To ease the transition, we’ve collected a list of 11 engaging 6th grade research topics.
These 6th grade research topics are detailed enough to make an information-packed research paper while still being age-appropriate.
So include in your lesson plans this week a handful of these fun research topics for middle school students.
6th Grade Research Topics They’ll Love
The following research topics for middle schoolers are sure to engage!
1. Taxonomic Classification
In the early grades, scientific classifications for living things are simple: plants and animals.
After that, things tend to get more nuanced.
By 6th grade, students should have a good grasp on classifications like mammals, reptiles, and insects.
So the next step is taxonomic classification.
Taxonomic classification splits the kingdom of living things into strict categories, and at first, it can seem confusing.
However, 6th graders quickly grasp the concept.
Once they really dig into the topic, it makes a fascinating research paper.
With 7 different levels of classification, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species, a student has plenty of subject matter to write about.
2. Conduction and Convection, and Radiation
Energy transfer might not seem like the most interesting topic.
However, the differences between the three forms of energy transfer can actually be more engaging than you might think!
By 6th grade, students should understand the concept of molecules and the production of energy from the movement of said molecules.
The next natural step is going more in-depth into the topics of conduction, convection, and radiation.
Any of the three methods of energy transfer could be the lone subject of a research paper.
However, for longer or more in-depth projects, comparing/contrasting conduction, convection, and radiation may be the better choices.
3. Phases of the Moon
The Moon is more than just a fixture in the sky.
By the sixth grade, students usually have a strong sense of curiosity for all things in space, making the Moon and its many phases an attractive research subject for preteens.
6th graders will enjoy explaining the different phases of the moon, the definitions of waxing and waning, and how the moon and its proximity to Earth affect our tides because of gravitational pull.
Phases of the moon is arguably one of the most popular 6th grade research topics.
4. Seasons: Earth, Moon, and Sun
What kid doesn’t want to be an astronaut at some point in her life?
Space and the universe are subjects that kids, including 6th graders, are naturally fascinated by and attracted to.
So nurture that interest.
A love of space easily transforms into a love of physics, chemical reactions, and complex equations in the future.
For now though, a brilliant 6th grade research topic is the three most important heavenly bodies: The Earth, Moon, and Sun.
The complex relationship between these three bodies and how they affect our seasons can be explored in minute detail in a research paper.
The subject matter is fascinating enough to hold the attention of any student.
This list of 6th grade research topics isn’t complete without a topic about the fascinating world of space.
5. Forms of Governments
Before students learn about the minute details of America’s government, they’ll need a firm grasp of the different types of governments around the world and how they all differ/relate to one another.
From limited versus unlimited governments and dictatorships versus monarchies, there are tons of ways a 6th grader can write a research paper about the types of governments.
They can focus on one type of government or more briefly explain each of them individually.
6. Biotic and Abiotic Parts of an Ecosystem
Ecosystems are another part of the 6th-grade curriculum that students are especially interested in.
Kids love to learn and explore the scientific details of animals.
A research paper describing biotic and abiotic parts of an ecosystem is an easy next step in the learning process for biology.
Sixth graders describe the differences between abiotic and biotic variables in an ecosystem, as well as give examples of each and how each example affects the environment it exists in.
Student researchers may be shocked to see how much even the smallest factor can vastly change an ecosystem!
7. Technology Through the Decades
Be sure to include technology as one of your 6th grade research topics.
Learning about technology through the decades includes the history of tools, devices, and techniques that have made life more comfortable and convenient for mankind.
Technology has absolutely transformed the way we live.
Encourage sixth graders to dive into the various ways that technology has continuously changed our lives from one decade to the next.
From space exploration to the military, there are many concepts from which to choose.
8. Women In History
Throughout history, the accomplishments of women have been minimized.
With this research topic, sixth graders learn about female leaders who have had a significant impact on the world.
From Mother Teresa to Harriet Tubman, there are countless intelligent women from which to choose.
Adding to biographies, sixth graders begin researching the lives of some of their favorite people, reading all about the successes and challenges these individuals faced.
The best part is that they discover these facts from the very person who lived it.
Autobiographies as a 6th grade research topic interest students because they get inspired by those who have changed the world.
10. U.S. Presidents
Doing research on U.S. presidents is always fascinating because 6th graders learn so many amazing facts about the men who have led the United States of America.
From historical legislations that have made a lasting impact on the world to humbling scandals, the presidency is full of topics sixth graders will enjoy exploring.
11. Ancient Civilizations
Humans around the world have an interesting history.
Using available evidence, historians, archeologists, and other scientists have done well to piece together the mysteries of the past.
For one of your 6th grade research topics, encourage sixth graders to travel back into the past to study the theories, artifacts, stories, and mysteries of ancient civilizations.
From ancient Egypt to the Mayan civilizations, there’s an entire world of history to discover.
Final Thoughts On Research Topics for 6th Graders That Engage
Now you have a quality collection of 6th grade research topics to explore.
These social studies and science research topics for middle school are sure to spark interest.
So include a few of these high-interest 6th grade research topics in your next social studies or science unit.