Research: Paraphrasing Relevant Information | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2A:U3:L3

Research: Paraphrasing Relevant Information

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can generate additional questions for further research. (W.7.7)
  • I can quote or paraphrase others' work while avoiding plagiarism. (W.7.8)

Supporting Targets

  • I can generate effective questions to guide my research.
  • I can quote or paraphrase others' work while avoiding plagiarism.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Researcher's Notebook
  • Exit ticket


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.   Opening

A.  Entry Task (5 minutes)

2.   Work Time

A.  Reading Source 1 (20 minutes)

B.  Adding to the Researcher's Notebook (15 minutes)

3.   Closing and Assessment

A.  Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

4.   Homework

A.  Continue reading in your independent reading book for this unit.

  • In this lesson, students begin their research project. They begin with Step 1 on the Researcher's Roadmap and build some background knowledge about the garment industry by reading a short article. While they read, they learn the basics of paraphrasing.
  • Then students add what they have learned to their Researcher's Notebook. Finally, building on their practice in Lesson 2, they generate effective supporting research questions.
  • This lesson, like Lessons 2 and 4, begins with teacher modeling before students work more independently. Careful attention to how you model will improve student work.
  • Students work extensively with paraphrasing throughout the remainder of this unit. The Researcher's Notebook provides students with sentence stems to help them be successful with this academic skill. Because they are reading for very specific pieces of information in each text instead of reading to understand the whole, they will not be providing an overall summary of the texts. Instead they will be synthesizing what they learned from various sources in Part III of the Researcher's Notebook, as well as the End of Unit 3 Assessment and the final performance task.
  • In advance: Read the article and decide how you want to "think aloud" to model the paraphrasing process.


plagiarism, paraphrase, succinct, anecdote


  • Entry task (one per student)
  • Researcher's Roadmap anchor chart (from Lesson 2)
  • "Ethical Style: How Is My T-Shirt Made?" (Source 1) (one per student)
  • "Ethical Style: How Is My T-Shirt Made?" (Source 1) (for teacher reference)
  • Researcher's Notebook (from Lesson 1; one per student)
  • Researcher's Notebook Part II (teacher reference)
  • Exit ticket (one per student)Model Performance Task: "iCare about the iPhone" (one to display; alternatively, create your own electronic version of this model; see Teaching Notes above)
  • Research Process cards (one set of seven cards per class; either taped under students' chairs or handed out in the beginning of class)
  • Sample supporting research question strips (one set per trio of students)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Entry Task (5 minutes)

  • Distribute a copy of the Entry Task to each student. Direct students to complete the task individually, then quickly debrief.
  • Make sure students can define plagiarism (when someone uses someone else's ideas or words and pretends they are their own) and paraphrase (to express something someone else has written in a shorter, clearer, or different way).
  • Point out the learning targets for today and ask students how the targets connect to the process of doing research.
  • Discussing and clarifying the language of learning targets helps build academic vocabulary.


Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading Source (20 minutes)

  • Direct students to the Researcher's Roadmap anchor chart. Tell them they will be doing Step 1 today. This step will help them formulate effective questions in Step 2.
  • Display and distribute "Ethical Style: How Is My T-Shirt Made?" (Source 1). Orient students to the format of the article. They will be writing in the right-hand column and specifically practicing paraphrasing there.
  • Begin by asking students to read silently in their heads while you read aloud. Pause after the first paragraph and think aloud through the paraphrasing process. See the "Ethical Style: How Is My T-Shirt Made?" (Source 1) (for teacher reference) for an example to guide you in this modeling. Write down what you paraphrased on the copy you are displaying and prompt students to update their copies.
  • Continue to read aloud for Paragraphs 2 and 3. Ask students to underline the sentences they think they should pay particular attention to when they are paraphrasing. Direct students to the sentence stems at the top of the page. Ask for a volunteer to construct a sentence out loud that paraphrases the ideas of the paragraph. Praise the student for trying something new.
  • Continue to read aloud Paragraph 4 until you get to the sentence "As a general rule of thumb, cotton is terrible for the environment." Then pause and say: "This sentence tells me that this paragraph will be about the environmental impacts of growing cotton. Although that's interesting information, it is not what I'm researching. Therefore, I will skim this until I get to a keyword about working conditions."
  • Skim to Paragraph 5 and begin reading again. Pause and ask for a volunteer to paraphrase this information using the sentence stems. See the teacher's guide for an example.
  • Read Paragraph 6 aloud. Depending on the needs of your students, you may continue to paraphrase out loud as a class, or you could ask them to write their ideas in the right-hand column on their own or with a partner. Pause to give students time to practice this important skill.
  • For Paragraph 7, demonstrate how to integrate direct quotes into a sentence that is paraphrasing the main idea. Explain that sometimes an author has a particularly succinct, or short and clear way of explaining something and you want to quote them directly. Or perhaps the author used particularly powerful language or a short anecdote. Then it is appropriate to quote directly. However, only phrases that are a few words long can be quoted directly, not entire sentences. Show them an example for Paragraph 7.
  • Read aloud Paragraph 8. Ask students to work in pairs and use the sentence stems to paraphrase the main ideas from this paragraph. They should write their ideas in the left-hand column. Circulate to help as needed.
  • Hearing a complex text read slowly, fluently, and without interruption or explanation promotes fluency and comprehension for students: They are hearing a strong reader read the text aloud with accuracy and expression, and are simultaneously looking at and thinking about the words on the printed page. Be sure to set clear expectations that students read along silently in their heads as you read the text aloud.
  • Some students may benefit from having key sections pre-highlighted in their texts. This will help them focus on small sections rather than scanning the whole text for answers.
  • For students who struggle to read complex texts, consider previewing the following vocabulary words from this text: 

B. Adding to the Researcher's Notebook (15 minutes)

  • Arrange students in pairs. Direct them to take out their own Researcher's Notebook. Explain that this is where they will capture the information and ideas they find while researching. Focus their attention on the box called "II. Research Notes, Source 1." Tell them to fill out the information on the right-hand side first. Show them where they can find the author and title information from Source 1. Remind them this is the MLA form of the information that one would find on a "works cited" page.
  • Next, direct them to write the information they learned in bullet form in the right-hand column of the Researcher's Notebook. Encourage them to look back at the information they paraphrased as a class. For example, the bullet point from the first paragraph would be something like: "Most of our T-shirts are made outside the U.S. in developing countries." See the Researcher's Notebook Part II (for teacher reference) for more examples.
  • After they record the information they learned, students should write their questions on the right-hand side. Tell them not to edit themselves. They want to generate as much information and as many possible supporting research questions as they can on this side.
  • After they have had 5 minutes to brainstorm on the right-hand side, direct them to the left side where it says, "Five supporting research questions I will use." Tell them that here is where they will write effective supporting research questions. Ask a student to read the list of qualities of an effective supporting research question from the Researcher's Roadmap (from Lesson 2). Ask a student to offer a supporting research question. Ask another student to evaluate the supporting question based on the roadmap. Write down six or seven student-generated possible supporting questions on the board. (Guide students toward the types of supporting questions provided for you on the Researcher's Notebook teacher edition).
  • After the class has constructed six or seven questions together, circle the four most effective questions and direct the students to write them in their Researcher's Notebook. Then tell students to write down one more of their choice.
  • Graphic organizers and recording forms provide the necessary scaffolding that is especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning and engage students more actively.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all learners, especially those who are challenged.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

  • Distribute the exit ticket to students, which says:
    * "Write down one of your supporting research questions. Explain why it is a good question."
  • Allow students 5 minutes to write their answer.  Then collect the exit tickets.
  • Using exit tickets allows you to get a quick check for understanding of the learning target so that instruction can be adjusted or tailored to students' needs during the lesson or before the next lesson.


  • Continue reading in your independent reading book for this unit.

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