Each year I have done research with my firsties and each year, I think, it keeps getting better. This year was no different.
Here's a little bit about our process.
We start off with a class research project on Sharks. I gather up all the books I can and we begin so I can work a few days ahead of the class.
Day 1: It starts out with reading the book Sharks! by Anne Schreiber.
On Day 2: I introduce the chart students will use to collect their information. Each column has a color that corresponds to the tabs students will use to mark the information they find.
During our writers workshop time, students are browsing books and making their top three choices for animals they want to research.
Day 3: Students are matched up with books and tabs are placed on the front of the books so that they can tab the information as they read.
Day 4 and beyond: Our firsties begin to take notes. By taking notes I mean they bullet and write one or two words until they have 3 or 4 facts.
Once notes have been taken, our firsties begin to write their chapters for each column. A few of the minilessons throughout this 4 week period are on nonfiction text features. Students will have to add 2-4 in their stories. Now.... I had prepped my students from the beginning so they knew they were writing this piece twice since we were presenting to other classes and their parents. I did not expect them to put these in their rough drafts. Once this rough draft is finished, students begin working on their Title Page. When most of the class is finished, I start working with small groups to edit/revise their work. After this, I take home all the reports for a final revision because.... I'm a little on the nutty side and 60 firstie pieces on a Friday night sounds amazing, right?!? :) Then, my firsties write their neat copies, adding in nonfiction text features. Our Safari is the culminating activity for our firsties to show off their writing to others. It's a great day for all our firsties and they are so proud of their work. And quite frankly, I am too! :)
I know I'm leaving out things like.... we go over what we do if we can't find enough information in our book. (look at others, go to the internet, etc.) If you have questions or want to know more, let me know!!! I LOVE to talk writing! :)