I created this project after my fifth grade class was done with state testing. My state tests in early March, leaving us with two and a half months left in the school year. A bit stressful, but it also allows a good chunk of time for my students to complete and enjoy more independent projects… just like this one.
This project includes almost everything you need for your students to complete a research project on the author of their choosing. It sets them up to brainstorm, research, take notes, plan, and then complete a research paper on their selected authors. I have also made sure to leave some of the note-taking more generic so that you and your students can use as little or as many pages as they need.
At the completion of the research paper, students complete the project of their choice to showcase all they have learned about their author.
I introduce this unit by talking about the big picture, helping students brainstorm author options, narrowing down their author choice, selecting their author, and then I really just allow them to research and take notes on their own while I help students as needed. This is really a great project for them to use all those beautiful reading and writing (and thinking) skills you have taught them all year!
There are also two rubrics at the end of the project that I go over so that students understand how I will be assessing them. There is one rubric for their paper (2 pages) and one rubric for their project (1 page).
Lastly, I have an example of a research paper. I did J.K. Rowling because my students are more than aware of my obsessions with Harry Potter. I know she is a very popular author and some students may select to study her. If this is the case, it is up to you whether or not you show them the example.
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