If you brainstorm with your students topics they are interested in, chances are an animal of some sort will be part of the list. Animal research is honestly fascinating for adults too. It seems I always learn something new in helping my students, but the most important reason to include research into your curriculum is that in doing so, we teach students how to use nonfiction text features to better comprehend nonfiction texts to grasp the main idea.’
Today, I’m featuring two products and tips from Sandy at Sweet Integrations and Melissa at Teacher Treasure Hunter. I just love these sets as they really tap into kids’ interests and yet scaffold the instruction to teach them how the research process works. As students work through the process, other reading skills are included as well including main idea/details, text features, determining importance, and fact and opinion. As writers, students learn how paragraphs are organized with a topic sentence, supporting detail sentences, and a closing, and how paragraphs come together to explain in depth. Here are a few research tips from me you might consider as you dig into your research paper writing experience:
- First, make the assignment clear and share why researching is important. List the information sources they are expected to learn to use.
- Model with anchor papers what is expected and demonstrate with a class paper how to conduct research.
- If you’re using the internet, use caution to make sure searching is safe.
- Outline the steps in a checklist to keep your kids organized and provide due dates for each section.
- Use self evaluations to help students monitor their own progress.
- Consider researching as a group to support struggling readers or first timers.
- Preselect resources as a way to get students started.
Before I start a research unit with my students, I always discuss credible online resources. I usually provide the class with a website evaluation rubric that we complete together. We look at lots of examples. (good and bad)
We discuss these questions:
- Who is providing this information? (is it an expert, what do we know about the author or organization)
- Is the information accurate?
- Is the information up-to-date? (look to see when the site was last updated)
- Is there bias? (are they trying to make you think their way or just providing factual information)
- Is it professional?
- Is the design of the site easy to read?
- Is it copyrighted?
For younger students, we go over this information as a group. For their research, I usually provide websites for them so they aren’t spending all of their time searching. I love using QR Codes. Students can just scan the QR code and go straight to the website. Our school also subscribes to great online databases that are excellent for research projects.
Put themed worksheets into binders and use binders for holidays and monthly themes. It helps so much to have everything in one place. Just pull out the binder and go!
Now, on to the freebies for today…
These gals all have freebies to share with you too. Click below to check them out.