Connection (3-5 mins): Yesterday you all worked hard to chose topics for your research papers. I have taken the time to read all of your responses and each of you should have found a slip of paper on your desk this morning listing your research topic. I am excited to learn with you about these amazing historical figures.
Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins): Today, we will begin framing our essays. Each researcher begins with a set of questions. These questions guide their research and help to determine the structure of their papers. Watch me as I show you how this process works.
Yesterday I decided I wanted to learn more about Abraham Lincoln’s life. The first step in the research process is to frame my research with guiding questions. I know I want to know more about Lincoln’s life before he was president because I already have a lot of knowledge about his presidency. I might have the following questions. Teacher writes questions on chart paper for the class to see.
1. What was Lincoln’s childhood like?
2. Was Lincoln well educated?
Did you see how I used what I wanted to learn about Lincoln to write questions I can now research. I also wanted to know more about Lincoln’s decision to become president so I might want to answer some of the following questions.
1. How did Lincoln decide to run for president?
2. Did he have any family members that were involved in politics?
3. Did he always want to run for president?
After I have my questions listed out, the research process becomes much easier. Now it’s your turn to try! Turn and tell your parent one question you want to answer while researching your topic. Students should turn and talk. Teacher calls on a student to share out their response.
Great job! During workshop time today you will be responsible for creating at least five questions you want answered about your topic. These questions should be listed in your writer’s notebook. Once we begin the research process, you will need to refer back to these questions. You may go to your seats.
Workshop Time (15-20 mins): Students should list questions in their notebooks. These questions should be centered around their research topic but also focused around what they want to learn about their particular topic. I allow students to discuss their questions group mates during this workshop time. Although I suggest students write five questions, most students record many more questions in their notebooks during this time. Teacher should circulate and provide support when needed.
Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): There is no formal exit slip for this lesson. However, each student is asked to share one question they want answered at the end of the lesson. This allows the teacher to monitor those students that may need extra support creating questions. The teacher may also read through students journals at another time to determine which students need extra support.
Reflection: This is a good exercise for students because it requires them to put their thoughts into question form. They are guiding their own research based on what they want to learn. I find that this immediately increases their interest in the topic because they have the power to choose.