Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Animal Research Project

Sometimes as a teacher, it can be overwhelming to plan a research-based writing project. We know that gathering research, taking notes, and then organizing those notes in categories are skills that need to be explicitly taught to our students on top of the writing process, but how??? Well, I am soooo excited to show you THE RESEARCH NOTEBOOK! You are going to LOVE it! This little pocket notebook will teach your students how to gather research in an organized way! When I used the research notebook to teach an animal research-based writing project to my third graders, it became my favorite writing unit that I taught all year!  I was astounded at the high-level writing my students produced at the end. Check out the research notebook in use in the picture below!
So here's how it works! Basically, you create pockets out of paper that fit the size of an index card perfectly, and each pocket has a specific topic that students should focus on as they delve into their research. For my animal research project, I broke the research notebook into 6 different categories: Habitat, Food & Diet, Physical Features, Life Cycle, Fun Facts, and Sources. These categories seemed to give a "lens" each day for students to view their informational text through, and this focus allowed them to read with a purpose of locating specific information. 

I finally was able to take some time to put this research notebook as well as many other resources together in an informative writing unit for others to use.
In this writing unit, there are detailed day to day lesson plans, student printables, anchor papers for you to use as the teacher, and rubrics. Here is how the unit is broken down:

FIRST, you follow the lesson plans for the research portion of the project and print out those necessary materials.
SECOND, you choose beforehand whether you will have your students write a multi-paragraph research paper OR a nonfiction book. You then use the corresponding lesson plans and print out those necessary materials based on your selection.
THIRD, you can grade your students writing project using the rubrics provided. There are also generic rubrics included so that you can use this pack to teach research-based writing and create a paper or book on ANY TOPIC you desire in the future!
This versatility is found in the research notebook and nonfiction book template as well. You can use the template to build a nonfiction book about any subject!!
This is what the nonfiction book looks like when it is finished!
Here is a look at all 12 pages included.
To access this product at my TPT store, click on the picture below!
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  1. I have been searching for three hours to find just the right organizer for my students to research an animal and write a report. We just finished a unit on Habitats. They are going to be so excited using your Animal Research Notebook design. Thank You!!