Generate Ideas for Another Draft by Choosing Issues that Matter to Us

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SWBAT generate ideas for their research essay by coming up with an essential question based on a topic of their choice.

Big Idea

Research your Issues!

Lesson Opener

5 minutes

Connect: I will say, We have just finished one draft of a research essay on a job you are interested in for your future. Today you we are going to use the researching skills we have gained and apply them generating ideas of about an issue you want to know more about.

*I have made a choice for this unit to have students research three different categories of topics: jobs they are interested in, issues in their lives and topics from their science and social studies class. I could do this unit all about any of the three. My thinking about this was for students to have access to the different kinds of nonfiction necessary for each topic. 

Teach: I will say, “In order to build upon our research skills, we are going to tryout another research based essay.  I am going to practice the skill of generating ideas about an issue that is interesting to me and the strategy creating questions about the issue. The process I will use is as follows:

1)      Review the Issues Anchor Chart.

2)      Generate questions based on the issues of interest to me*

3)      Revise my questions based on the level of questioning from the last generating strategy with my partner.”

I want students to authentically come up with their own questions. For my modeling I will show how I read over the issues chart. I will ask them to turn and talk and come up with their own questions. I will not model a question for them. I will show them the level of questioning from the last time they generated questions and ask them to revise their questions based on the Depths of Knowledge Chart

*This is an explanation of why I am Using "Issues" Again.

Active Engagement

30 minutes

“Now you are going to jot down a three column chart in your notebook (issue/questions/revised questions) and jot down at least 3 issues. I want you to generate as many questions as possible about the issues.” 

I will check for understanding by looking over the shoulder of every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I want to ensure they have as many questions as possible in order to revise them with their partner.

I will give them about 10 minutes for this part of the active Engagement. 

Partner Work: Before they revise their questions with their partners, I am going to show them the level of questions they came up with for their first research draft (mostly level 1 and 2 questions). I am going to give them the Depths of Knowledge chart and have them revise their questions.

I will check for understanding by asking different partner groups to share out with the class.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Researchers come up with issues that interest them and generate questions based on those issues. They then revise their level of questioning in order to hone their researching skills for better evidence. 


10 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an “exit ticket” in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: “Jot down the topic you are interested in and your best three question that you will use for research tomorrow.”

I am assessing their level of questioning and determining if we need to go over this tomorrow in order to prepare for a higher level of research.