Friday, December 14, 2012

Using Interactive Notebooks for Research Reports

 Our school has a BIG research paper project for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders every year. The 6th grade topic is wild animals. We usually use research folders with pockets folders for note cards and source cards, but I decided to try using the interactive notebooks to organize our information. Overall, it was a huge success but  I learned a few things the hard way that I won't repeat next year. Here's what DID work:

1. Gluing in the research requirements page and outline at the beginning of the Unit 5 Research section. The research requirements page lists all of the due dates and expectations, and parents sign it before we begin the project.
2. Gluing in 3-4 source cards. The kids had to use one encyclopedia, one nonfiction book, and one website from a list of approved websites.
3. Using Post-it notes as note cards. The 3x3 lined notes gave the kids room to write the topic, source number, one fact, and the page number. They could fit 6 notes on one page. We only used the fronts of the pages so they wouldn't get heavy and tear out of the notebook. I had the kids leave 3 pages for each topic (characteristics, behavior, and environment), but 2 would've been plenty.
4. Writing the rough draft after the notes pages. The final draft had to be typed and turned in separately, but everything else was kept in the notebook.

Outline and notes on plagiarism
Source cards. Each student had one encyclopedia, nonfiction book, and website source.
Note cards. The lined Post It notes worked great!
This kid chose more colors.
These note cards were very artistic. I love it when kids put their own spin on an assignment!