Native American Research Project: Ready, Set, Research, Take Two! (Lesson 4 of 8)

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SWBAT read informational text, take and share brief notes within small groups, and sort them into provided categories.

Big Idea

Today is take two of our research days! Your students continue researching and note taking to gather information about their tribe's topic.

Welcome to My Lesson!

This is a series of Language Arts lessons that I run concurrently with a Native American literature week.  The students love researching tribes that they are reading about in folktales and other Native American literature.  Pairing informational text with literature is an awesome combination!  Please watch this short video to hear some of the highlights of this lesson.  Thank you!

Review of Vocabulary and Note-Taking Skills

10 minutes

I once again review the academic and content vocabulary with my tribe.  I ask if there are any other words they came across yesterday, that we should add to our content vocabulary list.  Students may need help with the words shelter, environment, natural resources, and others while researching.  

Academic Vocabulary:

  • Non-fiction Text Features 
  • Internet research/Digital sources
  • Shared research
  • Informative/Informational text
  • Research project process:  research, evaluate, relevant vs. irrelevant, sorting into categories, note-taking, planning, drafting, editing, revising, publishing

 Content Vocabulary:

  • Native American
  • Culture
  • Native American Cultural Areas of North America and the United States

I also model researching more on the Zuni location.  We refer to our anchor chart as I read, identify relevant information to my topic, and take brief notes.  It's important to review and model to make sure my students understand what the expectations are for researching and note taking, as well as the objectives of the Common Core standards we're covering within these lessons.  (See Resource File:  Note Taking Anchor Chart)

The Tribe Digs Back Into Their Research

40 minutes

Today's research time is very similar to yesterday's.  I have the students grouped by tribes and also Native American cultural areas, when applicable.  One adjustment I made was to have some "quiet" researching time, and "sharing" researching time.  I alternate this so that the students research about ten minutes for each, two times.  I found this worked well for my tribe and they had time to work on their own and share ideas, too.  The students continue to record their notes onto their note taking page.  (See Resource File:  Native American Research Note Taking Page)

I support students as needed and monitor that they are successful with their note-taking skills. 

I assess the students' note taking skills by grading the note taking page.  I find it helpful to grade all of the parts of a project like this as we do them, rather than at the end.  It also allows me to see how the students are doing day-to-day.

*My students additionally take their research page to our computer lab to access Native American websites that I have preselected for them.  They add to their notes page as they find relevant information about their tribe's topic.

Review and Celebrate the Tribe's Learning!

10 minutes

We review and celebrate our learning today by meeting on our carpet area.   To go along with our Native American literature unit in reading, I have a pretend fire set up.  I give the students an opportunity to share some of the great things they've learned about.  We go around the fire and have each student share their favorite fact that they've learned so far.