Drafting An Outline

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SWBAT draft a formal outline for a research paper.

Big Idea

Creating a rough draft makes life a breeze. Sometimes.

Reading Time

10 minutes

Each day, I begin my ELA class with Reading Time.  This is a time for students to access a range of texts. I use this time to conference with students, collect data on class patterns and trends with independent reading and to provide individualized support.

Individual Practice: Creating A Draft Of An Outline

33 minutes

The previous lesson was on Learning How To Create An Outline, which was a bit more direct instruction on the basics of an outline.  Today's lesson is an extension of that lesson and focuses on allowing students time to work on creating a rough draft of an outline for their research project. It's important to give them class time for work like this to so you can monitor their understanding and application skills of writing an outline. Since the outline can be detailed, I want to make sure students are doing it correctly as they begin so there are no major issues to worry about when they are done.

I begin the lesson by telling students that they will spend the rest of class time working on drafting an outline. This must be a productive time. My role as a teacher for the lesson is to monitor classroom management so students stay on task and also to make sure students are understanding the steps of creating an outline. I tell students to refer back to the Research Booklet so they can follow the steps under phase three, which is creating an outline.

They begin by creating piles of their note cards based on topics. This will help them organize their information so they know how to structure  the information for their outline. This helps them to visually see how their information, which is from different sources, fits together. Here is a student discussing her piles of note cards: Student Discussing Note Card Piles.

Students then spend the rest of class time creating a rough draft of their outline following the format discussed in the Research Booklet. They work on drafting these outlines either by writing them or typing them. I suggest handwriting the rough draft as a word processing program can be tricky to format. They learned about this format from yesterday's lesson so this class time is really devoted to see if they are able to apply that knowledge. I have available two examples of previous work so students can see what an outline may look like so they can begin to work. Here are the two examples: Jacob Grimm Outline and Julia Child Outline. Sometimes all students need is just a visual of what an outline looks like for them to work. Many students argue over the outlines because they all want to compare them to their own work. This is great that they are engaged but I try and make sure that students are looking at the outline for structure and not content.

This shows an example of the beginning of a student's rough draft of an outline: Student Outline Rough Draft. This video discusses the rough draft and how I would offer the student support: Rough Draft Example Discussion.