Friday, April 5, 2013

Nonfiction Research Writing

In ELA this week, our focus is on research.  If you have read some of my previous blogs, I am really into Writer's Workshop lately.  This was really exciting for me because not only am I conducting a research project with my kiddos, but it helps them when they want to create nonfiction stories.  

I started the unit by letting them know we were going to create a nonfiction book as a class.  In order to write a nonfiction story, we need to learn how writers go about doing so.  I told them they first have to figure out what they want to write about!  (I always tell them, a huge thing for writer's is that they need to be interested in what they are writing, or it will just turn out to be boring!)

I made an anchor chart for the steps in the writing process.  It read: Choose a Topic, Thinking Map, Research, Write Story, Table of Contents, and Glossary.  Once we completed a task, we crossed it off the list.  

Step 1:  Choose a Topic (here are the topics my friends picked)

We voted on Dolphins!

Step 2: Thinking Map- I asked them what important information we wanted to find out about dolphins for our nonfiction book.  

Step 3: Research-We read several dolphin books and watched a video about dolphins... every time we learned a fact that we wanted to know, we wrote it on our thinking map in blue.

Step 4:Write/Illustrate 

Step: 5-Table of Contents
I spread out all of our pages and had my students rearrange them in a logical order.  Once we did that, we numbered our pages and created our Table of Contents.

Step 6: Glossary- We went through and found all of our underlined words and defined them.  

Tomorrow, we are creating the back cover to be "About the Authors".  Then I will cut the top and laminate the book.  I figure since I can't put their pictures on my blog, I might as well go ahead and post this without that page.

Next week, they are doing individual research with a partner!  I am so excited, I'll post some samples! 

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