There are times when a good old fashioned research report is needed to culminate a unit of study. Or, a research report can be used to promote the use of the internet to glean information while teaching students to put other people’s thoughts into their own words.
At a time when Common Core dictates the path a teacher will take, nothing quite meets the standards for research quite like digging into information and finding what is valuable and of interest to your students, and what information can be left behind.
This packet of editable reproducibles allows the teacher to customize the report to meet any number of needs, while being generic enough that it can be used across the academic subjects. Included in these documents are the requirements for the written report and oral report. Also included are specific rubrics that will help the teacher, student, and parent understand what is required and how the requirements can impact the overall grade. Nothing is left to chance when you use this time tested approach. I have used this report for 18 years and found it provided students with the skills needed to research as well as the skills needed to present a coherent written and oral report that highlights key points learned through the writing process.
This research unit will require you as a teacher to teach research skills on the computer, highlighting skills, a lesson on plagiarism, a lesson on using a word processing program, a lesson on using Powerpoint or Google Slides, a lesson on how to speak effectively in front of a group of people, and many days doing research and typing up the written report.
A sample timeline on this project is about 3-4 weeks with about 45 minutes per day spent on direct lessons as well as independent student work time. Below is a suggested order of events.
Day 1: Introduce the “Be and Expert Report” to your students by BRIEFLY going over the included reproducibles. (You need not labor over the details at this point as you will review expectations regularly in days that follow.)
Day 2: Have students pick a topic to research. (If you have a specific unit of study you would like all students to research further, this would be the topic.)
Day 3: Students will find research and print up online and/or book sources. If they use a book, then photo copy the pages for the students. I have shifted to online only research reports as they really prepare the students for future online searching that they will tackle over a lifetime of learning. For primary grades, you may provide information in the form of copies for each student if, for instance, you are wanting to control the content in such a way that it lines up perfectly with a specific unit of study.
Day 4: Continue searching for text.
Day 5: Finish up the searching and printing of text.
Day 6: Teach students to highlight important facts and then have them try this on their own research.
Day 7: Highlight important facts on all research done up to this point.
Day 8: Review requirements of the written report again answering questions and showing an example of what you would like to see.
Day 9: Explain what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Show how to take academic words and turn them into “student words.”
Day 10: Take highlighted research and have students put it in their own words. This should be handwritten. Typing will happen later, most likely at home.
Day 11: Show students how to type up their title page. Give them an opportunity to create their title page.
Day 12: Continue to have students do the rough draft of their written report.
Day 13: Show students how to find, set up, and format the 3 pictures in a Word document or Google page document. Review what a bibliography looks like.
Day 14: Students continue to work on picture finding, rough draft writing, and title page creating.
Day 15: Introduce the requirements for the oral report. Model what these behaviors look like. Model how to write up note cards for the oral presentation.
Day 16-20: Students complete all requirements for the written and oral reports. Students who finish early can rehearse their own speeches in preparation for their report.
Note: You can assign portions of this for homework where necessary. Invite parents to view the oral report. They love to come and video tape these presentations. You should video tape the reports and use them in your open house each year. It makes a nice addition to the overall feel of the room.