Research Paper Lesson Plans

Day 1 - purpose for writing (i.e., to entertain, to inform, and to share experiences)

  1. United Streaming Discovering Language Arts: Reading (Grades 3-5) The Author's Purpose (04:24)

  2. Use acronym PIES to help students remember the purposes of writing

    P (persuade)
    I (inform)
    E (entertain)
    S (share ideas)
     

  3. Have students write the four purposes on index cards. For each example below students must choose the purpose for this type of writing and hold up the appropriate index card to indicate the answer.

  4. PowerPoint Author's Purpose

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Day 2 - audience

  1. Tell students they will be writing a short research paper during this unit. Discuss the following.

    Have students brainstorm to determine people in which they could write.

    Examples:

    adults peers relatives such as aunts or uncles grandparents
    teachers classmates principal the President of the U.S.
    young children Governor of Tennessee senators or congressmen best friend
    president of a company mayor doctor  

    Ask these questions:

  2. United Streaming Discovering Language Arts: Writing (Grades 3-5) Write for Your Audience (04:14)
  3. *Making Good writing prompts using “RAFTS”

    Role - Who am I? What is my role?
    Audience - To whom am I communicating? Should I use a formal or informal stance?
    Format - Which format should I use while communicating? ( letter, fiction story, report )
    Topic - What is the topic? Is it sufficiently focused?
    Strong Verb - What am I trying to do in this communication? (eg. convince, request, complain, persuade, pretend, entertain?)

    *As students become more independent they can determine their own RAFTS.
    __________________________________________________
     

Use  RAFTS to discuss each of the following:

  1. PowerPoint on Audience

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Day 3 - Most Reliable Resources & Sources From Which to Gather Information

  1. Have students brainstorm places, types of books, etc. where they can gather information to write a report. When student ideas stop, show the three United Streaming videos, and list additional sources as they are mentioned in the videos.

    encyclopedia websites library books newspaper articles
    magazine articles textbooks interviews atlases, almanacs
    videos, DVDs photos audio tapes letters, diaries
           
  2. United Streaming Discovering Language Arts: Nonfiction (Grades 3-5) Sources of Information (05:33) and
    United Streaming Discovering Language Arts: Research (Grades 3-5) Electronic Media (04:27)
    United Streaming Discovering Language Arts: Research (Grades 3-5) Visual Resources (04:17)

     

  3. Discuss the reliability of each source listed from the brainstorming activity.

    encyclopedia Which is more reliable?
    • Wikipedia
    • Encyclopedia that lists research data such as World Book
    websites Which is more reliable?
    • articles written on a school site by students
    • governmental publications
    • blog
    • official site such as Sea World, National Park Service, etc.

    How do you determine if the information is correct?

    magazines or newspapers Which is more reliable?
    • editorial
    • governmental publications
    • tabloid magazines
    library books (textbooks) Which is more reliable?
    • Books copyrighted before 1950's are fine if you are reporting on an historical topic, but not so good if reporting on a science topic such as space travel.
    • current books
    • from official sources such as NASA
    • fiction
    letters, diaries, journals, interviews Which is more reliable?
    • letter written by a person who witnessed an event
    • writing from someone who heard about an event
  4. PowerPoint on Most Reliable Resources & Sources From Which to Gather Information

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Day 4 - Most Reliable Resources & Sources From Which to Gather Information

  1. Discuss primary and secondary sources.
     

    primary original material from time period
    • diary or journal
    • autobiography
    • letter
    • speech
    • interviews
    • original document such as birth certificate or trial transcript
    • photographs
    • surveys and polls
    secondary interpretations of primary sources (discussion of evidence) - second hand version
    • journal articles
    • biography
    • radio or television documentaries
    tertiary collection of primary and secondary sources
    • almanacs
    • encyclopedias
    • fact books
    • guide books
    • indexes

    Example

    Primary Secondary Tertiary
    original painting of Sistine Chapel ceiling article critiquing the Michelangelo's painting database of artwork
    George Washington's diary biography of a George Washington's life encyclopedia of US Presidents
    letters written by Frederick Douglass website about a Frederick Douglass's writings dictionary of Abolitionist
    notes taken by a Neil Armstrong about his walk on the moon magazine article about a the Neil Armstrong textbook about science
    movie biography on the director of the movie guide to the movie
    interview with a person living during the Great Depression history textbook about the Great Depression fact book about the Great Depression
  1. Brain Pop http://www.brainpop.com/english/studyandreadingskills/research/

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Day 5  - Use table of contents, title page, and glossary to locate information

  1. United Streaming Discovering Language Arts: Nonfiction (Grades 3-5)  Parts of a Book (05:18)
     

  2. Worksheet from Teach-nology

    http://www.teach-nology.com/worksheets/research/book/basic/
     

  3. Discuss that knowing how to use the table of contents and index will help the students locate information for their research papers.

  4. Language for Daily Use Level 4 - Unit 4 - Lesson 6 "Using a Title Page and a Table of Contents" and Lesson 7 "Using a Glossary and an Index"

  5. PowerPoint Using table of contents, title page, and glossaries to locate information

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Resources and Organization

  1. Locate 3 resources for Paper

  2. Create a bibliography http://www.easybib.com/

  3. United Streaming Discovering Language Arts: Research (Grades 3-5) Space Shuttle Citing (04:03)

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Note Taking and Outlining

Three Easy Models for Note Taking http://wwwfp.education.tas.gov.au/english/targeting.htm#report

  1. Narrow down topic to three subtopics.

  2. Start Outline.

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Topic Sentences

  1. Language for Daily Use Level 4 - Unit 4 - Lesson 1 "Understanding Paragraphs" and Lesson 2 "Understanding Topic Sentences"

  2. PowerPoint Presentations

How to Write a Paragraph

Understanding Paragraphs and Topic Sentences

WHAT IS A PARAGRAPH? A collection of related sentences dealing ...

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Detail Sentences

  1. Language for Daily Use Level 4 - Unit 4 - Lesson 3 "Understanding Details in Paragraphs"

  2. Writing a paragraph the right way!  http://home.cogeco.ca/~rayser3/joke.txt

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Staying on Topic

  1. Language for Daily Use Level 4 - Unit 4 - Lesson 4 "Understanding Sentence Order in Paragraphs"

  2. Lesson 5 ""Keeping to the Topic"

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Concluding Sentences

  1. Language for Daily Use Level 4 - Unit 4 - Language Review

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Write 1st draft from outline.

Four Square Writing for Grades 3-5