Individual Research | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2A:U3:L6

Individual Research

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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 read a source, identify and paraphrase information that helps answer a supporting research question ,and generate effective supporting research questions.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Researcher's Notebook


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Entry Task: Return Mid-Unit 3 Assessment (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Reading a Group Text (25 minutes)

B.  Synthesizing Your Findings--Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Marking Your Text (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  If needed, finish color-coding in the Researcher's Notebook in preparation for writing the End of Unit 3 Assessment.

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

  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessments (from Lesson 5, with teacher feedback)
  • In this lesson, students work with Step 5 on the Researcher's Roadmap. After they evaluate where they are in their research, they will have a chance to do some more independent research.
  • Students may choose research texts from among the set listed in the supporting materials, or other sources that either the teacher finds on his/her own. The suggested texts listed in this lesson may be downloaded from:
    in Fall 2013.  Feel free to gather more recent sources as well -- working conditions in the garment industry is a topic that has been in the news frequently in recent months.
  • To make sure students have access to the source they need to best address their supporting research question, consider making a few extra copies of each source.
  • In advance: Assess students' Mid-Unit 3 Assessments; print out suggested texts.
  • Familiarize yourself with the optional texts so you can best assist students with their reading and paraphrasing.




  • Researcher's Notebook (students' own, from Lesson 1)
  • Researcher's Roadmap anchor chart (from Lesson 2; one large copy to display and students' own copies)
  • Suggested Texts chart (one to display)
  • Document camera
  • Copies of the suggested texts (at least one per student; see Teaching Note above)
  • Model research synthesis (one per student and one to display)
  • Colored pencils (three colors per student)
  • Annotated model research synthesis (for teacher reference)
  • Suggested texts for this lesson (for teacher reference)



A. Entry Task: Return Mid-Unit 3 Assessment (5 minutes)

  • As students enter, hand back their corrected Mid-Unit 3 Assessments. As an entry task, ask students to look over the assessment and put a star next to something they did well. Then ask students to circle something they need to work on as they continue researching.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with a partner about what they starred and circled.
  • Remind students to keep these skills in mind as they continue their research.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading a Group Text (25 minutes)

  • Ask students to take out their Researcher's Notebook and read the five supporting research questions from Part II. Invite students to think about what they have learned so far and what they would like to research further. Ask them to circle one question they will use to guide their research today.
  • Ask a student to identify where on the Researcher's Roadmap anchor chart they think they are right now. Listen for students to identify "Evaluating Research," or Step 5. Remind them that periodically pausing to think about what they have learned so far and what else they need to research is an important step in the research process.
  • Project the Suggested Texts chart on a document camera. Based on the guiding question they chose, have students select a text to read today. Tell them they will be working in pairs. Place the suggested texts on a central table and invite students to pick up their chosen text, move to sit with their partners, and await further instruction.
  • Explain to students that they are now going to loop back on the Researcher's Roadmap. Remind them that this is an important part of the process and not a step backward. Ask a student to explain how reading a text for research is different from reading a novel. Listen for students to understand that when you read for research, you skim for the gist and identify the sentences that relate to your supporting research questions. You go back and read these parts more closely to thoroughly understand them and paraphrase them. Remind students that this sometimes means reading around those parts (i.e., the sentences that come before and come after them) to make sure students really understand.
  • Direct students to write down the pertinent "works cited" information in the Researcher's Notebook Source 4 section. Instruct them to skim the articles and mark the text for details or facts they think are important enough to paraphrase into their own words. Assure students that they will have lots of time to talk through the facts they identified with their partner, but they must read silently on their own first for the next 10 minutes.
  • As the students work, circulate to assist as needed. Consider joining a struggling reader or individually conferencing with a student.
  • After 10 minutes, instruct the students to begin to share what they marked with their partners. Working together, they should paraphrase the pertinent information and write it in their Researcher's Notebook Source 4. Encourage them to paraphrase it orally first, as it will improve the coherence of their notes.
  • If pairs finish early, they can read another article.
  • If you have struggling readers, direct them to "Teens in Sweatshops." Consider assigning heterogeneous groups.
  • Consider suggesting that pairs split the longer articles and each read a page during this time.

B. Synthesizing Your Findings--Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Direct students to Section III in the Researcher's Notebook. Ask a student to define synthesize (bring together different parts to make a whole). Explain that in Lesson 7 they will be writing paragraphs that sum up what they have learned from their research. This will be their end of unit assessment. The ideas they have been diligently paraphrasing will be the parts they will organize together. Praise them for diligently paraphrasing and avoiding plagiarism.
  • Distribute the model research synthesis and display using the document camera. Ask students to read along silently as you read the synthesis aloud.
  • Once you have the read the whole synthesis aloud, reread the first sentence. Pause and point out that this sentence answers the overarching research question: "What are the working conditions like in the electronics industry?" Annotate the model by writing "answers overarching research question" above the first sentence, and ask students to do the same.
  • Continue to annotate the model, focusing especially on how each paragraph answers a supporting research question. See annotated model research synthesis (for teacher reference). Also point out that the very same paraphrased sentences you modeled for them in Lesson 4 have been arranged in this paragraph. (They are underlined.) By paraphrasing what they have learned, they have already done much of the work in this paragraph.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Marking Your Text (5 minutes)

  • Distribute three different colored pencils to each student. Instruct students to spend a few minutes reading back through their Researcher's Notebooks.
  • Ask them choose one color of pencil to circle one supporting research question that they want to address in their research synthesis in the next lesson. Then ask them to use the same color to circle the paraphrased notes that they will use to help them address that question.
  • Repeat this for two other supporting research questions, asking students to use a different color for each supporting research question and its relevant information.
  • This is preparation for the End of Unit 3 Assessment in the next lesson. For students who struggle, consider asking them to answer one or two supporting questions in their research synthesis. For students who need a challenge, consider encouraging them to circle more than three supporting questions to answer in their synthesis.


  • If needed, finish color-coding in the Researcher's Notebook in preparation for writing the End of Unit 3 Assessment.
  • Continue reading in your independent reading book for this unit.


Note: Remind students that they need to be done with their books by Lesson 10, because they will write book reviews that day.

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