Home Products Contests Training Support News About Us Navigation
Lesson 1 - Research
Grade: 3-5
Subject(s): Writing
Required products: Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Books on the topics the teacher has chosen to model with
  • Books on various topics for the students
  • Graphic organizer for the place made in Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Graphic organizer for the three subjects made in Tool Factory Word Processor
    This is a 7 part lesson using the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing

    Objective for Lesson 1 (Research):
    Students will be able to research three subjects and one place. The information will be included as content in a fictional story.
    Before the lesson begins:
    • Get stacks of books on topics that interest your students. If you have diverse groups of students, you can select books that relate to the countries they are from. Alternatively, plan a trip to the library and let the students check out books that interest them.
    • Put one of each graphic organizer at each seat, this way you don’t have to waste time later handing it all out.
    • Prepare models of both graphic organizers ahead of time, only leaving the questions blank or covered up.
    • Choose a topic ahead of time, this way you have the books ready. We study Native Americans in fourth grade so my three subjects will be a Tklinkit a young boy (Native of Alaska), a bear, and a deer. From my research earlier, I know that there are bears and deer in Alaska. This means, my place will be Southern Alaska.
    • Have the students sit on the carpet while you are modeling the lesson.

    The lesson: (this may take place over 2-3 days)
    1. Show students the graphic organizers with three subjects. Show the other organizer with the place on it. First, start with our subjects. We want to begin our research with some questions. By asking questions, we know what we are looking for in our books. Say, “I have some questions about the young Tklinkit boy, the bear, and the deer. I want to know (and either uncover or write as you say them), "What do they all eat? Where do they live? How do they stay warm in Alaska? And, what do they do to have fun?”
    2. Explain to the students that now that we have this written down we can research using books for the answers to our questions. Show them the books on Natives in Alaska, brown bears, and deer.
    3. Use text features of the book such as the table of contents and the index, to find the answers to our questions. Really model using the book. This goes along with reading to be informed in reading, by using the text features.
    4. As you find the answers, model writing them on the chart. Explain that this chart works like a coordinate graph in math where we see where the subject and the questions meet by dragging our fingers and seeing where they meet.
    5. Keep looking up information in the book until all the questions I want answered are answered.
    6. Ask the students, “If I am having a really hard time answering one of my questions, what will that tell me about my question?” Help them realize that it's too difficult or it is irrelevant to the topic. Explain that they might want to choose a different question.
    7. Repeat the process for the “Places” graphic organizer.
    8. When you have completed modeling both graphic organizers, explain to the students that tomorrow we are going to look at our information and think about how we can create a story with what we learned.
    9. Tell students that they have copies of graphic organizers on their seats, that look just like the one we did together. We are going to use these graphic organizers and the stacks of books to get ideas for our new writing piece.
    10. Tell students that if they do not find any books that interest them, they can look at other tables. However, if someone else is using the book you want, make sure you ask if you can borrow it or share it, do not just take it.
    11. Before sending them to their seats, invite students to tell you what they will do at their seats.
    12. Begin researching.
    13. Leave at least 5-10 minutes at the end of the lesson to allow students to share their findings with the class, their table, or a friend.
    14. Have students put their graphic organizers in their writing folders for tomorrow.
    Follow-up Activities
    They can begin "Lesson #2 - Organization", where they will organize their thoughts into a story on a graphic organizer.
    Cross-Curriculum Ideas
    Because we are researching Native Americans for this project, you can do some of the readings during Social Studies.
    Downloadable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • Subject Organizer in Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Place Organizer in Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Lesson 2 - Organization
  • Lesson 3 - Word Choice
  • Lesson 4 - Voice
  • Lesson 5 - Sentence Fluency
  • Lesson 6 - Conventions
    Choose your standard:
    Tessa Weiss
    4th Grade Teacher
    Georgian Forest Elementary School
    3100 Regina Drive
    Silver Spring MD 20906
    Phone: 301-460-2170 Fax: