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Grade: 3-5

#4683. Research Strategy

Reading/Writing, level: 3-5
Posted 12/27/2012 by Julia Chen (Julia Chen).
New York, USA


• Animal Track & Sign by Jinny Johnson and Forword by John A. Burton (pg. 100 – 101)
• Pocket Pets by Alvin Silverstein
• Internet articles about rabbits
• Students past notes from the previous research sessions
• “Teaching Booklet” (8” x “11 construction paper booklet containing about 12 pages folded and stapled)
• Pencil/Pen

Focus (Aim):

How do we become specialists of our favorite topic?

Grouping Options:

There is no grouping in this lesson because it is one to one tutoring program.

Objectives: At the end of the lesson, student will be able to…

• Choose and break down important information to the topic
• Write an organized informational piece/book
• Use nonfiction features


We discuss the differences between nonfiction and a fiction book. We list the features of a nonfiction book and discuss purpose of each feature. We look through each of nonfiction books to see examples for each of the features. We then review the past notes from the previous tutoring session and she talk about her discoveries she learn so far compare to the first week of working on the research project.

I tell her that she will be a rabbit specialist and she will create a “teaching booklet” to teach her audience about her topic. I point out how nonfiction writers used headings to help them break down and contain the important information of what they wanted the readers to know about the topic. I read aloud one of section of the headings to her. I do a “think aloud” and tell her what I learn from just reading that section. I show her the construction paper booklet (“teaching booklet”) and explain the purpose of nonfiction writing: “To teach something, writer need to choose the most important information to include writing.” I tell her that writer should always ask themselves: “What information will best help my reader understand the topic?” Since the topic is about rabbit, I show her that I decide to introduce the physical features of rabbits if there are some readers who have no background knowledge of the topic. I review the notes with her to show, which information describes the rabbit’s features and I or have her write them down on the first page. I tell her that even though we add the facts on the page, some readers cannot picture in their minds of how the rabbits look like based on the descriptions they have read. So it is the nonfiction writer’s job to add illustrations to give the readers a visual image to connect to the facts, so they can understand what they are reading. I remind her that I have noticed when I read aloud to her or when she is doing her retell, she always refer to the pictures to help her comprehend the texts; there might be others like her who are also visual learners. I have her draw a picture of a rabbit based on the facts that is already written. Then, I point out how labels are another nonfiction feature that explains what is going on in the picture. I reread over the facts that were written and every time when it talks about specific thing that relates to the picture, I label it. For example, if it talks about the rabbit’s ears; I label “ears” with an arrow pointing or indicting what the label is referring to. Lastly, since we focus on the physical features of the rabbit; I add a heading to the page. I tell her that headings can be in a question form. So I write “What does the rabbit look like?” I then give other suggestions of headings that can be put in the booklet.

Body of Lesson (Procedure):

1. Remind the student to always start off by asking this question as they are working on the “teaching booklet”: “What information will best help my reader understand the topic?”
2. Brainstorm by reviewing the notes or look in the texts to find the next important information.
3. Discuss with the student and have them write down the information on the bottom half of the page.
4. Have the student illustrate based on the facts they have written.
5. If possible, have the student add a nonfiction feature (i.e. caption).
6. Refer back to the nonfiction texts or internet articles to add any extra information.
7. Student writes a heading on top of the page.
8. Student numbers the page.
9. Steps # 1 – 8 is repeated until the booklet is complete.


If the student did not finish her teaching book, I have her finish it at the next research session. If she is finished with the “teaching booklet”, she can share her information with other students. She spends a few minutes reading aloud the whole book or parts of it and share about her discoveries she made when creating the book.


Since this ongoing project, I will see if she is using the nonfiction features to help her in creating the book. Also, I will see if she is able to break down her topic into subtopics to link the important information to each one.