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1st Research Project & How to Teach Those Skills


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When I taught school my 4 th and 5 th graders regularly wrote short 5 paragraph research papers from 3 sources.  You’ll need to do a lot of hand holding and modeling.  Besides using choosing an easy topic and using resources below their grade level, I would narrow the research BEFORE you begin note taking.  Step one decide on topic and read one book (I like the picture book idea.) step 2: choose your sub topics. For example (an animal report is easy) habitat, physical description, and interesting facts.  Step 3: choose 3 excellent sources.  Step4 : take notes (iew experience is great for this.  They learn to take notes or key word outline early) I like to use 3 different pieces of color paper- one for each source and fold each paper into thirds.  Write the bibliographic info at the top of the page.  Write one subtopic in each column. Student takes notes from each source and puts the info in the correct column. (This is sooo much easier than notecards!!!) repeat for each source.  Step 5: outline/ organize each subtopic. ( I just had my kids number each note in the order they wanted to put the info) With one student you could scribe an outline) I would not expect a 4/5 grader to do this on their own.  Step 6: write body paragraphs one at a time. I’d make sure my kid knew how to write a solid paragraph before research writing  step 7: write intro and conclusion step 8: revise edit 9: publish. Some kids like pictures.  Have fun and choose something the child loves.  

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1 hour ago, SRoss5 said:

When I taught school my 4 th and 5 th graders regularly wrote short 5 paragraph research papers from 3 sources.  You’ll need to do a lot of hand holding and modeling.  Besides using choosing an easy topic and using resources below their grade level, I would narrow the research BEFORE you begin note taking.  Step one decide on topic and read one book (I like the picture book idea.) step 2: choose your sub topics. For example (an animal report is easy) habitat, physical description, and interesting facts.  Step 3: choose 3 excellent sources.  Step4 : take notes (iew experience is great for this.  They learn to take notes or key word outline early) I like to use 3 different pieces of color paper- one for each source and fold each paper into thirds.  Write the bibliographic info at the top of the page.  Write one subtopic in each column. Student takes notes from each source and puts the info in the correct column. (This is sooo much easier than notecards!!!) repeat for each source.  Step 5: outline/ organize each subtopic. ( I just had my kids number each note in the order they wanted to put the info) With one student you could scribe an outline) I would not expect a 4/5 grader to do this on their own.  Step 6: write body paragraphs one at a time. I’d make sure my kid knew how to write a solid paragraph before research writing  step 7: write intro and conclusion step 8: revise edit 9: publish. Some kids like pictures.  Have fun and choose something the child loves.  

 

4th grade is when my son started writing research papers, yes. And yes its a struggle. ANd yes to books below level when it comes to getting information out of them.

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For that age, I just have my kid read an article about whatever they are researching (or a portion of a book) and then basically write a narration. If capable, you could have her take notes from the source. I begin requiring more than one source closer to age 11-12, but that all depends on the ability of your student.

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1 hour ago, geodob said:

Perhaps her 1st research project, could be 'What is research'?

I would not follow this line of thought. That could be an overwhelmingly abstract concept for a young child. Research for a 9 yr old can be very simple and concrete and should be a clearly defined/narrowed topic. For example, bees is way too broad a topic for a project bc entire books are written on the topic. Assigning a topic like what are the different types ou f bees within a bee colony, otoh, makes what question to find the answers to clear. It helps the student stay focused and not wander off on topics like explaining pollination or honey production. You assist the student by asking them questions about whether what they are discussing answers specifically the narrowed topic.

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