In the 4th quarter of
fourth grade, each student will be responsible for writing a research
report. Students will brainstorm a list of possible topics and choose
their top three. After the topic has been approved, students may start
checking out books from the media center.
The first step (once
you've picked your topic) is to start asking questions.
You'll want to ask "JUST
RIGHT" questions. You want to avoid small questions, but at the same
time, you want to avoid big questions too.
Example of a "Small
Why does my dog like
Example of a "Big
What are dogs like?
Example of a "JUST RIGHT"
What are some foods that
dogs enjoy eating?
Once you've asked some
questions, and you're sure that they're "JUST RIGHT" questions, it's
time to start thinking about reading and taking notes. You want to make
sure that you have some index cards. I suggest as big as 8x5 and some
that are 4x6 or smaller. I also suggest that you use different colored
cards. Pick a color, and then all the notes you take from one book
should all be that same color. That will help you stay organized.
Here are some index cards
On each card, use this
format (Cornell Notes). The left side of the line is where you write
the question and the right side of the line is where you write the
It's very important that
once you have found the materials that you're going to use, you have the
proper citations for them. There are several ways to write a
Bibliography (or Works Cited) page. Here are some links to help you
figure out how to properly give credit where credit is due!
There are numerous search
engines available and each one will give you different results. It's
important that the search engine be safe for children to use. No one
needs to see inappropriate things when they search! Here are
a few of my favorites:
Excellent question!! There
are many websites... millions even, and they are created by all sorts of
different people. Some are experts and have research to back up what
they're saying, while others are just average people putting their
opinions out there for the world to see. You want to be sure that what
you're using is useful and relevant to your search. Here are a few
things that can help:
Now it's time to write your
introduction, thesis statement and conclusion. After you've got those
three done, you can fill in the remainder of your report with the
research that you've gathered and put on your note cards (in your own
Rubrics should be given to
the students BEFORE they begin writing their rough drafts. The purpose
of a rubric is for the student to know in advnace, what they must do to
get the highest grade possible. Here are a few rubrics that can be used
for a research report and a presentation.
Your teacher should give you
a rubric that tells you what you'll be graded on for your presentation.
Here are a few examples of presentation rubrics:
You've got everything you
need to actually put together an outstanding PowerPoint, but what about
graphics? Graphics and images can really enhance your presentation and
make it shine. Here are some sites that will give you some clip art,
animations, and pictures that you can add to your slides:
You've got everything you
need to write a fantastic report and put together a stunning