Expert Groups: Research 1 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M2B:U1:L6

Expert Groups: Research 1

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can conduct short research projects to answer a question. (W.6.7)
  • I can use several sources in my research. (W.6.7)
  • I can refocus or refine my question when appropriate. (W.6.7)

Supporting Targets

  • I can collaborate to create group norms.
  • I can identify details in a text that answer my research question.
  • I can summarize the relevant details for my research.

Ongoing Assessment

Researcher's notebook

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

B. Introducing Researcher's Notebook (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Introducing Expert Groups and Creating Group Norms (8 minutes)

B. Jigsaw Part 1: Research (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Jigsaw Part 2: Sharing Research with Expert Groups (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Finish completing your researcher's notebook for the texts you have read in this lesson.

  • Students begin their research with their teams using folders that contain a small number of selected research texts for each of the specific group to focus on identified. These texts were chosen from a wide range of sources, with an emphasis on historically accurate information that would also be both engaging and accessible for sixth graders. Consider collaborating with your librarian or media specialist to identify additional resources.
  • Have these folders ready in advance. Each team needs a research folder containing the materials relevant to the group they have chosen to focus on for their research. Have enough of each text for every student in the group, so students can self-select texts and can also take them home to help them complete their homework.
  • Not all texts have glossaries. This is because not all require glossaries; some of the texts are aimed at children, so most of the words should be familiar. Any unfamiliar words should not impinge student understanding of the text.
  • In advance: Using the exit tickets from Lesson 5, divide students into groups of three or four according to the group they chose to focus on (either serfs and peasants or lords and ladies). Mixed-ability grouping of students will provide a collaborative and supportive structure for reading complex texts.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

norms; See other vocabulary specific to each group in the glossaries with students' research folders

Materials

  • Researcher's notebook (from Lesson 5; one per student)
  • Equity sticks
  • Lined paper (one piece per expert group)
  • Research folders (one per team; each team should have a folder appropriate for their specific group: serfs and peasants or lords and ladies.  See supporting materials)

-     Serfs and Peasants

    • Research task card
    • Serfs and Peasants Text 1: "The Peasant's Life"
    • Serfs and Peasants Text 2: "Peasants"
    • Serfs and Peasants Text 3: "What Is a Fief?"
    • Serfs and Peasants Text 4: "The Manorial System and Common People"
    • Serfs and Peasants Text 5: "Serfs in the Middle Ages"

-    Lords and Ladies

    • Research task card
    • Lords and Ladies Text 1: "Castle Life"
    • Lords and Ladies Text 2: "The Lords"
    • Lords and Ladies Text 3: "Life of the Nobility: Kings, Lords, Ladies, Knights"
    • Lords and Ladies Text 4: "Daily Life of a Noble Lord in the Middle Ages"
    • Lords and Ladies Text 5: "Lords and Ladies"

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the learning targets with you:

* "I can collaborate to create group norms."

* "I can identify details in a text that answer my research question."

* "I can summarize the relevant details for my research."

  • Remind students that norms help us to collaborate and work well together in teams.
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Reviewing the key academic vocabulary in learning targets can prepare students for vocabulary they may encounter in the lesson.
  • Posting learning targets allows students to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The learning targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.

B. Introducing Researcher's Notebook (5 minutes)

  • Ask students to refer to their researcher's notebook, with which they familiarized themselves for homework. Invite them to reread the headings of the columns and rows. Ask them to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "What do you notice?"

* "What do you wonder?"

  • Select volunteers to share their discussion with the whole group.
  • Ask students to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "So what information will go in the left column? Why is it important to record this information?"

  • Cold call students to share their responses. Listen for them to explain that key information about the text goes in the left column. It is important to record this so students can cite it accurately in their final piece of writing and also so they know which article the information came from, should they wish to revisit it later on. 
  • Ask:

* "What about the right column? Why is it important to record this information?"

  • Select volunteers to share their responses. Listen for them to explain that the information they gather from research to answer their research question goes in this right column. Remind them to copy any evidence they collect word for word in quotation marks. Listen also for students to explain that a summary is something they can revisit to quickly get the main idea and key details of an article.
  • Focus students on the section about revising and refining the research question. Ask them to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "Why might you want to revise or refine your research question after reading a text?"

  • Consider using equity sticks to select students to share their ideas with the whole group. Listen for them to suggest that a text might give them information about something specific that it would be useful to find out more about. For example, Excerpt 2 of "Middle Ages" explained that monks and nuns had a lot of different jobs, but it doesn't explain whether they faced adversity through these jobs, so a refined question might be: "How did the jobs that the monks and nuns have to do as part of their service present them with adversity?" 
  • Spending time reviewing the researcher's notebook can ensure students know what to record in each column when they come to research and the purpose of each part of the organizer.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing Expert Groups and Creating Group Norms (8 minutes)

  • Post the expert groups in a place where all students can read them. Ask students to get into their groups.
  • Remind them that when they start working in a new group, it is a good idea to create some group norms to make sure discussion is productive and enjoyable for everyone.
  • Distribute lined paper. Ask students to discuss in their research teams:

* "What might some good norms be to make sure that you work together successfully?"

  • Tell teams to record their ideas for norms on their lined paper to refer to in later lessons.
  • Circulate to assist teams that are struggling. Suggestions could include:

-    "Listen carefully when someone is speaking."

-    "Ask questions when you aren't sure, to get more information or to encourage speakers to think more deeply about their ideas."

-    "Be respectful when asking questions and when comparing someone else's ideas with your own."

-    "Acknowledge other people's ideas and perspectives."

  • Creating norms for conversation helps to establish a positive group dynamic and make clear the expectations for collaboration.

B. Jigsaw Part 1: Research (20 minutes)

  • Point out to students the research question and the space in the adjoining column for the refined research question. Ask them to consider their research focus in refining the question for their expert group. Model an example:

* "I am going to be researching a different group of people to those groups that you chose. I am going to be researching townspeople--merchants and artisans--so my refined research question would be: 'What adversity did townspeople face in the Middle Ages?'"

  • Invite students to refine their research question in teams based on their focus and record it in their researcher's notebook.
  • Tell students that they are in expert groups so that they can divide and conquer the workload of researching. This means that different people in the team can be researching from different texts at the same time and then share the information they have found with the rest of the team later on.
  • Distribute research folders. Invite students to take out the research task card and to read Part A silently in their heads as you read it aloud.
  • Invite students to ask questions if there is anything they don't understand.
  • Point out Step 6 and remind them that in Lessons 3 and 5, they used a Summary Writing graphic organizer to help them summarize a text, but now that they have done this a couple of times, they are going to have to summarize their texts without the organizer.
  • Tell students that this task card will guide them in how to effectively research the answer to their refined research question.
  • Tell them they may find that the research texts make them think of further questions they would like to research the answers to, and in this situation they should record the new questions in the appropriate space in their researcher's notebook.
  • Invite students to follow the directions on the task card to research using the texts in their research folders.
  • Circulate to support them in reading the texts and recording relevant information in their researcher's notebooks.
  • Refer students to the glossary for texts in the research folders to help them understand unfamiliar words.
  • Providing students with task cards ensures that expectations are consistently available.
  • Encourage students to choose a text from the research folder that is most appropriate for their reading level, but to challenge themselves within reason.
  • Graphic organizers and recording forms engage students more actively and provide scaffolding that is especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Jigsaw Part 2: Sharing Research with Expert Groups (10 minutes)

  • Ask students to read Part B of the research task card silently in their heads as you read it aloud.
  • Invite them to ask questions if there is anything they don't understand.
  • Ask students to get share the research they have found with their expert group. If working in a group of three, students can team up with another expert group to share their ideas.
  • Invite them to follow the directions on Part B of their task card to share the research they have collected and to record any new information in their researcher's notebook. 

Homework

Homework
  • Finish completing your researcher's notebook for the texts you have read in this lesson.

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