What Do You Want to Know: Recording Questions for an Informational Report

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SWBAT record "thick" questions that will be used to guide research for an informational report.

Big Idea

Knowing what to ask when conducting research is the key to successfully investigating a topic.

What's Your Topic?

10 minutes

We begin today by sharing the topics everyone has chosen to research.  I use a Mix Pair Share structure (Kagan and Kagan, 2009) to have students share.  When the music plays, the students move and when the music stops, the students stop.  I tell the students that the taller students should go first.  The taller student shares their topic and then shorter person is responsible for asking a question about the topic.  Then the roles switch.  I do this four or five times and then send students back to their seats.  

Sharing in this way allows the students to get thinking about questions for their topics.  As each partner shares their topic and hears a question, they begin to build a question bank in their minds.

After the students share with each other, I have a couple of volunteers who heard something particularly interesting to share that topic with the whole group. 

I Want to Know.....

40 minutes

Once all the students are seated, I hand out the question organizer that the students will be using to record all the questions they want to ask about their topic.  I have found that this step is necessary because in the past, I've skipped this step and the students aren't good at thinking of questions spontaneously.  I've also done this step where I gave them a limit to the number of questions they need, but I found they only gave me that number of questions.  So, I've modified this step to  give students a platform for thinking about the questions without limiting the number they come up with.

Once the students have the organizer and I've explained it, the only thing left to do is give them time to come up with questions.  I encourage them to use some of the questions they heard during the Mix Pair Share.

Collect and Wrap Up

10 minutes

Near the end of class, I gather the students back together to collect their questions and prepare them for the next day.  I tell them that tomorrow we will continue to work with their questions as we need to sort them before we can actually begin researching.