Talk about the right book at the right time. Christopher Lehman’s Energizing Research Reading & Writing dropped on my doorstep just days before I began launching into the start-of-the-year research project with my sixth grade students, and I feel as if I have had Lehman by my side just about every step of the way. Written in an engaging tone, and very teacher-friendly format, this overview of how to think anew about the benefits of research projects (and how to consider research through the Common Core focus) has so much good advice, it is difficult to know where to begin.
From the opening chapter that puts our ideas about research projects in perspective (particularly the way that technology and Internet access has reshaped the ways in which students find information) to helping students narrow down topic choices, considering and using sources without the “plagiarism” effect, the benefits of graphic organizers (or not), and the need to balance short-term research with long-term projects to develop skills.
I highly recommend Energizing Research Reading & Writing as a resource for any classroom that has research in its future (which, if you are a Common Core state is just about every upper elementary classroom through high school). I’ve already been sharing out some of the many charts that Lehman pulls together around the main ideas, in which he helpfully shares teaching strategies and ideas to differential the research instruction for a variety of students, and makes direct connections to content-area classroom research, too.
Peace (in the search),