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Creating Question and Answer Books through Guided Research
|Grades||K – 2|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Five 50-minute sessions|
This lesson focuses on a “learn by doing” series of reading and writing activities designed to teach research strategies. The activity uses KWL charts and interactive writing as key components of organizing information. As a class, students list what they know about insects, prompted by examining pictures in an insect book. Students them pose questions they have about insects, again using picture books as a visual prompt. Students then search for answers to the questions they have posed, using Websites, read-alouds, and easy readers. Periodic reviews of gathered information become the backdrop to ongoing inquiry, discussion, reporting, and confirming information. The lesson culminates with the publishing of a collaborative question and answer book which reports on information about the chosen topic, with each student contributing one page to the book.
In the Introduction to the January 2000 School Talk focusing on "Using Nonfiction Literature," Stephanie Harvey tells us, "The real world is rich, fascinating, and compelling. Primary kids know this. They burst through the kindergarten door brimming with questions about the real world. . . . Nonfiction, more than any genre, lets us explore the real world, ask questions, and find out compelling information." In the classroom, our job as teachers is to tap the natural curiosity and inquiry methods students bring through the classroom door to provide scaffolding for the research activities we undertake as part of the curriculum. By focusing on the questioning strategy that comes so naturally to students, this lesson plan invites students to explore nonfiction books to find their own answers. The result is a student-centered inquiry project that takes advantage of the skills that students bring to any research project to guide the unit.
Harvey, Stephanie. "Bringing the Outside World In." School Talk 5.2 (January 2000): 1.