Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Information Sensation!

Carol Rine
Bay District Schools

Description

This is the second lesson in a unit on expository writing. Students are brought up to speed on narrowing the topic, conducting research, and creating source cards. Students practice recording bibliographic information in a research scavenger hunt.

Objectives

The student evaluates and uses information from a variety of sources when researching content area topics (including but not limited to primary sources).

The student compares and contrasts elements within or across texts.

Materials

{NOTE: Many of the handouts mentioned below are contained in the associated file for this lesson. They are available for downloading and printing.}

DAY ONE
Teacher
-Group assignments - approximately four students per group
-Subject or theme for the upcoming research {NOTE: Decide context for the unit such as literature appropriate for the grade level, for example, mythology --or pair up with a subject area teacher to compile research for science/social studies projects, etc.}
-Topic Bank containing topic ideas related to subject or theme of study
-Model and mini-lesson to demonstrate narrowing the topic {NOTE: If there is access to a computer presentation cart (big screen TV and computer with online capabilities)
-Topic Bank- student copy

DAY TWO
Teacher
-Chart paper for each group of students
-Reserve library time
-Collaborate with librarians regarding reservation of materials pertinent for research subjects
-Librarians create a mini-lesson on conducting research in the library and available tools for research process

Student
-Notes from Beacon Student Web Lesson, Information Elimination narrowing the topic process (See Weblinks)

DAY THREE
-Mini-lesson detailing the effective use of source cards with explicit instruction/review on the difference between primary and secondary sources from the Beacon Student Web Lesson, If You've Seen One Source, You've Seen Them All, Right? (See Weblinks)
-Source Card Format overhead transparency {NOTE: This tool works best if used in a full-class display method, for example, overhead projector, whiteboard, chart tablet, or television screen. I made transparencies of the tools and used an overhead projector.}
-Report Checklist outlining the requirements for completed paper e.g., (minimum number of sources, variety of references, guidelines for the title page, and guidelines for the works cited listing).
-Source Card Format-student copy
-Report Checklist-student copy

DAY FOUR
-Reserve library time
-List of questions for the research scavenger hunt, cut into pieces for random distribution among students
-Key containing answers to the questions for the scavenger hunt
-Index cards to distribute to students for practice citing bibliographic information
-Scavenger Hunt student questions
-Index cards--one per student

Preparations

1. Establish group assignments according to class size-- approximately four students per group works well.
2. Subject or theme for the upcoming research {NOTE: Decide context for the unit such as literature appropriate for the grade level, for example, mythology --OR pair up with a subject area teacher to compile research for science/social studies projects, etc.}
3. Model and mini-lesson to demonstrate narrowing the topic {NOTE: If there is access to a computer presentation cart (big screen TV and computer with online capabilities) use the Beacon Web lesson,Information Elimination.}
4. Gather all materials needed.
5. Reserve library time
6. Collaborate with librarians regarding reservation of materials pertinent for research subjects
7. Librarians create a mini-lesson on conducting research in the library and available tools for research process
8. Mini-lesson detailing the effective use of source cards with explicit instruction/review on the difference between primary and secondary sources {NOTE: If there is access to a computer presentation cart (big screen TV and computer with online capabilities) use the Beacon Web lesson, If You've Seen Once Source, You've Seen Them All, Right?
9. Duplicate the following items from the associated file for this lesson:
--Report Checklist,outlining the requirements for completed paper e.g., (minimum number of sources, variety of references, guidelines for the title page, and guidelines for the works cited listing).
--Source Card Format-student copy
--Report Checklist-student copy
--List of questions for the research scavenger hunt, cut into pieces for random distribution among students
--Key containing answers to the questions for the scavenger hunt

Procedures

This is the second lesson in an online unit entitled Info Expo. This second lesson is an introduction to research. The unit, as a whole, teaches the art of expository writing. This lesson provides students with an introduction to the research required for exposition. Teachers across subject areas and grade levels might use this lesson to support their own research units. The lesson plan spans four or more sessions.

BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED BY STUDENTS:
WRITING-Students beginning this unit should already come prepared with a strong background in writing. In my own classroom, this unit follows a unit where students have already explored the Creating Writers' six traits or qualities of good writing as specified by state standards. Students are experienced with the writing process and publishing writing.

DAY ONE: NARROWING THE TOPIC

In Class
1) Review the learning from last lesson called Fact or Fiction-What Is Expository Writing?

2) Orient students to the current step ofnarrowing the topic by questioning them as to what they know already.

3) Use the presentation center and work through the Beacon Learning Center's Student Web Lesson, Information Elimination or deliver a mini-lesson on narrowing the topic.

4) While working through the Web lesson, require students to take notes on the important steps in the narrowing process. Ask students to save these notes as they are needed for tomorrow's session.

5) Review the steps as a whole class in a discussion format.

6) Send students to their group assignments.

7) Distribute the topic banks to the students.

8) Allow groups 5-10 minutes to brainstorm; students choose a few topics they are interested in researching as a group. Some groups might decide upon their topics at this time.

9) Conclude class with a return to seats and review important steps in the narrowing process.

Teacher
1) Observe groups and their compatibility. If any groups are having trouble cooperating, make adjustments.

2) Once groups are working effectively, make judgments as to the learner level of each group. At this point, make necessary differentiation in instruction. For example, if there are groups that seem to be advancing quickly, provide them with more complex issues or guide them to extend their learning to higher levels. In a similar way, guide struggling groups with instruction that is more explicit or by providing extra tools (checklists, etc.)

DAY TWO: CHARTING A COURSE

In Class
1) Review learning from yesterday's session.

2) Send students to groups to revisit the topics chosen as possible research topics from yesterday's session. Require students to bring their notes from yesterday's session-- important steps in narrowing the topic.

3) Provide a quick model for students for the activity they are to begin next. The model demonstrates narrowing the topic. Model the narrowing process with the broad topic of dinosaurs leading to the narrow topic--flying dinosaurs. Next, have student volunteers ask questions about the narrow topic. For example, say, What questions might you have about flying dinosaurs? Record all of the questions. Next, ask the class to choose the strongest questions. List the top five.

4) Distribute chart paper to each of the groups. Deliver assignment.

5) ASSIGNMENT: Ask student groups to practice narrowing the topic. Using the various topics they agreed upon from yesterday's session, students work to come up with a narrow topic, using their own paper. After 10-15 minutes, ask students to choose one of the topics as the focus for their research. List the original, broad topic and the new, narrow topic at the top of the chart paper. Ask student groups to brainstorm questions they would like to know about this topic on their own paper. Next, ask students to use group discussion and decide upon one question for each student to research when they visit the library. List those 5 or so questions on the chart paper. Ask students to choose one person in the group to keep the chart paper until the day they begin the research. {NOTE: Some groups may want to change their topics after they have begun researching. This is not problematic if done early enough in the research process.}

6) Students return to individual seats. Teacher and class discuss the process and any problems that occurred. Teacher offers suggestions and clarifies misconceptions.

7) Travel to the media center for a mini-lesson from the librarians on conducting research in the library and available tools for research process.

Teacher
1) Observe groups to make certain they are following the correct steps for the narrowing process. Guide groups that encounter problems by offering suggestions and clarifying misconceptions.

2) Continue providing direction through differentiation of instruction.

DAY THREE: SOURCE CARDS

In Class
1) Review the steps for narrowing a topic examined during class the previous day.

2) Deliver a mini-lesson on source cards. {NOTE: Discuss source cards first, prior to note cards; students have a tendency to jump right into the note-taking process without paying any attention to their sources. Sources play a vital role in all parts of a research paper. Emphasize this role in this section of instruction. In addition, students tend to search without purpose and waste great amounts of time in this step of the process. If students evaluate their sources first, they can then springboard directly to the researching of information.}

3) Using the overhead projector, discuss and display the source card format. Read an example topic, an example research question, and discuss the mental processes you might work through in choosing a source. Next, demonstrate recording source card information in the format provided. Explain the link in recording this information now and its use later for the works cited page. Emphasize precision in recording this information as sources will become the foundations of the paper.

4) Distribute copies of the student Source Card Format handout.

5) Distribute copies of the student Report Checklist handout.

6) Explain the elements contained in the checklist. Elements make more sense as students progress through each of the steps in the research and writing process.

7) Use the presentation center and work through the Beacon Learning Center's Student Web Lesson, If You've Seen One Source, You've Seen Them All, Right? or deliver a mini-lesson on the difference between primary and secondary sources.

8) Conclude class with a return to seats and review important differences in sources.

Teacher
1) Observe students to make certain they comprehend the difference between sources. Provide students that encounter problems with reteaching/remediation activities for homework.

2) Continue providing direction through differentiation of instruction.

DAY FOUR: RESEARCH SCAVENGER HUNT

In Class
1) Review the differences between primary and secondary sources examined during class the previous day.

2) Prepare students for the day's activity by outlining the process. Send students to their groups. Ask students to bring their chart paper containing the group topic and questions.

3) Travel to the library. Model the scavenger hunt steps. Pull one question at random from the list of questions. Some questions might be--What is the life span of a mosquito? How long was the Titanic? Who was the 17th president of the United States? Where is Easter Island? etc. (see associated file). Pull one of the sources such as an encyclopedia and model finding the solution to the question. Perhaps even, model having trouble and asking the librarian for assistance. Having found the source, complete the source card using the format discussed in class. Check the groups' understanding of the process, and deliver the assignment.

4) ASSIGNMENT: Distribute a tiny slip of paper with one of the scavenger hunt questions on it to each student. Distribute a 3x5-index card to each student. Students should use appropriate library sources to answer their question. Some students finish before others. When a student finishes one question, they can come and get another; however, when the last student has completed researching the answer to the question, the activity should conclude. Teacher collects the note cards as a formative assessment. Ask students to discuss any questions they have regarding the process. This concludes the scavenger hunt portion of the activity.

5) Reassemble groups. Deliver next assignment.

6) ASSIGNMENT: Now, students will begin researching for their papers. Ask students to pull out their chart paper. The group should research the 5 questions they have chosen for their topic, but each student must create a different source card using a different source from the other students. For example, everyone in the group researches question number one, for example, What are the various types of flying dinosaurs? However, all five students should create a card from a different source. Ask students if they understand the directions, and let them begin.

7) Teacher should review the note cards obtained from the scavenger hunt while students are researching their questions. If any cards are incorrect, pull that particular student for a desk-side conference and/or assign a homework assignment for further practice.

8) Conclude with a return to class and review the process. Offer suggestions and clarify misconceptions during a debriefing session.

9) If the researching process requires more time, extend the lesson by one session. Or, if groups are encountering more than minor troubles, reteach and extend the lesson by one session.

10) Collect the source cards for a formative assessment.
Review the note cards and proceed with or adjust instruction accordingly.

Assessments

For this activity, formatively assess the collection of the source cards. Check the source cards for not only a narrow topic, but also the correct bibliographic format. Since this is a formative assessment, mastery is not yet required. Further formative assessments occur in this area as the unit progresses. Summative assessment falls at the conclusion of the unit, Info Expo.

Extensions

A) The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2964. Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

B) Other activities this can lead into are outlining, creating a mini-encyclopedia, working up a bulletin board display of the expository information, or hosting a student radio/talk show to discuss the information.

C) The best way to integrate the subject areas with this lesson is to work with a teacher in the science or social studies area and supplement their units by focusing the research of this lesson to their needs.

D) Finally, there are interactive Student Web Lessons that complement this unit. See the Weblinks section of this lesson plan and choose the Unit Plan, Info Expo.

Web Links

This is an interactive Student Web Lesson.
If You've Seen One Source, You've Seen Them All, Right?

This is an interactive, Student Web Lesson.
Information Elimination

Attached Files

1) Topic Bank 2) Source Card Format 3) Report Checklist 4) Scavenger Hunt Questions with Answer Key†††††File Size: 47104 bytes (0.046 mb)††††††File Extension: pdf

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