Skip Header

We are hiring thousands of people for the 2020 Census. Click to learn more and apply.

Conducting a Mini Field Study

Component ID: #ti1013016589

Activity Description

Students will learn about the nature and importance of qualitative research as a complement to numerical data — specifically how sociologists use in-depth ethnographic research to study specific places and groups. After students investigate census data on the demographics of their school’s ZIP code, they will observe a location at their school (e.g., a student center or cafeteria). Students will record their notes, understanding the importance of reflexivity in field research. Then they will write a short paper about their field study.

Component ID: #ti1448637156

Suggested Grade Level


Component ID: #ti1448637157

Approximate Time Required

60–120 minutes

Component ID: #ti1448637158

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to take field notes and write reports about qualitative data.
  • Students will be able to understand the importance of reflexivity in sociological research.
  • Students will be able to further develop their skills in interpreting numerical data.

Component ID: #ti1448637159

Materials Required

  • The student version of this activity, 5 pages
  • Teacher computer with Internet access and a projector to display web sites

A computer with Internet access for each student is preferred but optional.

Component ID: #ti1448637160

Activity Items

This activity uses the following online tool:


Teacher Notes

Blooms Taxonomy

Blooms Taxonomy

Students will analyze interactions in a social setting.


High School Sociology


  • Demographics
  • Group behavior
  • Social norms

Skills Taught

  • Conducting field research
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Making inferences
  Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes    Thumbs Down Image No
Comments or suggestions?
No, thanks
255 characters remaining
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?
Back to Header