When the students enter today, they already know what's on the agenda since we had a lesson wrap up yesterday. They know they are going to work with the questions they wrote in the previous lesson and that we're not ready to begin research just yet.
So, I hand out their questions and I begin to talk to them about paragraphs and how their questions will be combined to create paragraphs. I ask the students how they think we should best go about that. They have many ideas, but one- the one I'm looking for- finally comes out- we should sort the questions by group.
I have the students cut their questions apart and begin to sort them into like groups. As the finish, I hand out paper clips and show them how the groups have become their paragraphs. Once all the students have their questions clipped, I hand out the question organizer.
The question organizer is what they will use to record the information from their research, but first, I want them to write the questions onto each page where it belongs. Having the students sort their questions beforehand and create their paragraphs in the prewriting process helps them avoid organization problems while they are actually writing their report.
Once I explain where the students should write their questions, I let them begin. I spend my time monitoring and keeping kiddos on track so they can all finish on time.
After the students are done recording their questions on the graphic organizer, I gather them back together for the daily wrap up. Tomorrow we get to begin research. The question arises that always arises when we are going to do research- "Can I do some research at home?" At this point, I'd rather they not take home their graphic organizers, so I let them take home their stacks of questions telling them they can use those at home and whatever information they get, they can staple to or record on their graphic when they get to school.