Three steps to researching: Modeling the work of authors

Research skills are important for all students to develop. Despite the increased emphasis on inquiry, few resources assist teachers in guiding students through the sequence of the vital first steps of writing. Some resources give general guidance, but robust, systematic instruction is needed. Modeled on the work of a children’s author, the authors provide a grades 3 through 6, classroom tested plan. Three clearly described steps help students stay engaged in research by (1) selecting a topic of personal interest, (2) conducting a presearch to determine what type of information exists about their topic, and (3) using various resources to dig deeper to gather quality information. The goal is to help students develop important prewriting skills and learn to become independent researchers.

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