Reading for Answers to Your Research Questions

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SWBAT paraphrase information they have read while researching a topic.

Big Idea

How do I summarize information I've read in my own words?


10 minutes

After reviewing with students what we have been doing in the previous lessons we move into reading our information for facts. Students already have the resources that they are using for their research. As I mentioned in the previous lesson, students are using their science or social studies textbook because we are focusing on the actual reading for information within our research. I remind students that yesterday’s lesson involved us looking for information that we didn’t know about our topic. We found this information by asking questions that our readers may want to know when reading about the topic. I have students refer back to their sticky notes in their books that direct them to sentences or phrases that answer their questions. Going back to my model topic, I move into the modeling section of the lesson where I show students what to do with the information they’ve found.


10 minutes

To show students what to do with the information they have found, I refer back to my online version of the textbook using my smart board. The same effect can be achieved with a section of the text typed into a word document shown on a smart board, written on chart paper, or made into a transparency for an overhead projector.  I take a look at one of my questions and begin to read the sentence that I’ve identified as the answer to my question. I ask students to read my question and read the sentence and see if they can tell me what the answer is. I record my answer on a note taking sheet that students use for answering their questions. While modeling for students, I am sure to show them how to put the answers in their own words. We talk about using the words of the writer and how we have to make sure when we are taking notes and summarizing what we have read, we use our own words. For example a text may say that rocks consist of different minerals. My question is, "What are rocks?" I reword the answer for students by saying, “Rocks are made up of several kinds of minerals.”  I do a few more of these and then allow students to answer their own questions. 

Guided Practice

20 minutes

During this time students are using the information they located in their reading to answer their questions. As students are working, I circulate the room to talk with students and make sure they are putting the information in their own words. During this time, I also pull small groups of students who I feel may struggle with paraphrasing the information and model more intently for them. I relate back to the textbook and the topic and model how to look for the most important information in the sentences and use that to answer their questions. 

Wrap Up/Assessment

10 minutes

After students have had an opportunity to answer their questions, we talk about what students learned about paraphrasing what they have learned and read about their topic. I ask students to share some of the ways they were able to put the information into their own words. I collect students note taking sheets to review and see how well they were able to paraphrase.