Black History Month Research Report
A Research Project on African-American Leaders
Research projects can often be overwhelming because they cover such a variety of standards. It is my hope that this Common-Core aligned, 80-page resource will help streamline the process for you and your students so that it is both educational and enjoyable! I am passionate about creating truly differentiated resources that make it possible for ALL of your students to be successful, including students that struggle to write complete sentences. This biography research report resource is perfect for Black History Month in February, but can be used any time of year to study great examples of African American leaders.
This resource includes all of the following:
AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADER RESEARCH NOTES PACK
I personally make a copy of this notes packet for each student. I include all pages, but I left off page numbers so that you can mix and match to best meet your students’ needs.
• Cover page (including a place for students to draw an illustration of their leader)
• The Early Years: Childhood and Family Background
• 4 Interesting Facts (allows students to personalize with information they find really interesting about their chosen leader)
• 3 Direct Quotes (focuses on citing resources to incorporate direct quotes into the final research paper)
• 4 Accomplishments (focuses on specific things their leader accomplished that made the world a better place in which to live)
I have included 4 different options of resource pages for you to include with the students’ Research Notes Packs.
• Simple Resource Format (up to 4 sources)
• 3 Books Resource Page
• 2 Books/1 Online Article Resource Page
• 1 Book/2 Online Articles Resource Page
BUILD A BIOGRAPHY FLAP BOOK
These pages build a flap book inside the lap book. The flap book provides differentiated support for students as they go through the writing process for their 5-paragraph research essay. These pages are especially helpful during the drafting phase of the research report.
• Write a Super FIRST SENTENCE - guides students through 3 strategies to help them write an engaging first sentence that hooks their audience
• Write a Super INTRODUCTION (2 differentiated options) - guides students through specific "I can" statements in order to write an engaging introduction paragraph that hooks their audience - includes checklist to edit with a partner
• Write a SUPER BODY PARAGRAPH - The Early Years (2 differentiated options) - guides students through specific "I can" statements in order to write an engaging first body paragraph about the early life of their Black History Month leader- includes checklist to edit with a partner
• Write a SUPER BODY PARAGRAPH - Interesting Facts (2 differentiated options) - guides students through specific "I can" statements in order to write an engaging second body paragraph including interesting facts about their Black History Month leader - includes checklist to edit with a partner
• Write a SUPER BODY PARAGRAPH - Accomplishments (2 differentiated options) - guides students through specific "I can" statements in order to write an engaging second body paragraph including their Black History Month leader's special accomplishments - includes checklist to edit with a partner
• Write a Super CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH - guides students through 3 strategies to help them write an engaging conclusion paragraph that brings closure to their research report
• Write a Super CONCLUSION (2 differentiated options) - guides students through specific "I can" statements in order to write a conclusion paragraph that brings closure to their research essay - includes checklist to edit with a partner
• Editing Checklist - final editing checklist for students before completing their research essay
These research-based strategies are designed to help students increase their overall comprehension of the topic they are studying. All graphic organizers are designed to help students assimilate what they have been learning about their African-American leader.
• Leader and Me: Students will use this graphic organizer to make a personal connection to their leader, looking for positive character traits that they may have in common.
• Making Inferences: Students will use this graphic organizer to combine text clues with the schema (prior knowledge) in order to make inferences about their leaders. It is a great tool to use while they are doing their research to make them think more deeply about the topic.
• Alpha Boxes: Students will use higher-ordered thinking skills to determine which words are most important when describing their person. I like to pair students up after they complete the word sort to discuss with a partner why they chose each word and to compare and contrast.
• Venn Diagram: I like to have students use this after they meet with a partner to compare and contrast the words from their Alpha Boxes graphic organizer. It is a great follow-up activity.
• Select Two and Reflect (STAR): Students will choose any 2 words they associate with their leader to write in the boxes at the top of the page. They will then describe in a complete sentence, group of sentences, or paragraph the relevance of those specific words to their leader. This is also a great conversation starter for small group or partner discussion.
RESEARCH REPORT PLANNER
These planning pages help students align the research they collected in their Research Notes into proper paragraph format. It outlines which information is expected in each paragraph of the report. I do not require students to write their entire report at once. Rather, I break it into the specific paragraphs to focus on one at a time. This helps students not get overwhelmed.
• Editing Checklist (full page)
• Editing Checklist (half page)
• Intermediate Lined Paper (2 pages)
• Primary Lined Paper (2 pages)
ANNOTATING SOURCES IN APA FORMAT – STUDENT HANDOUTS
• Student Handout (2 pages/4 per page): These can be stapled together to pass out as a student resource OR cut apart and glued into an interactive notebook.
• Student Handout (1 page/8 per page): These can be stapled together to pass out as a student resource OR cut apart and glued into an interactive notebook.
• Flap Books Foldables (2 pages/4 per page): These can be glued into an interactive notebook.
ANNOTATING SOURCES IN APA FORMAT – POSTERS
• Full Color (8 pages)
• Partial Color (8 pages)
• Black line (8 pages) – INK-SAVING!
LIST OF LEADERS
This list includes the name of leaders that your students might want to research as well as a short description of what the person is best known for accomplishing.
List of Leaders INCLUDES: Hank Aaron, Alvin Ailey Jr., Marian Anderson, Maya Angelou, Arthur Ashe, Ella Baker, Benjamin Banneker, Harry Belafonte, Mary McCleod Bethune, Ruby Bridges, Gwendolyn Brooks, Henry "Box" Brown, Ben Carson, George W. Carver, Roberto Clemente, Alicia Coachman, Bessie Coleman, Miles Davis, Frederick Douglass, Tony Dungy, Katherine Dunham, Duke Ellington, Marcus Garvey, Althea Gibson, Sarah E. Goode, Virginia Hamilton, Matthew Henson, Billie Holliday, Langston Hughes, Jesse Jackson, Michael Jackson, Shirley Jackson, Mae Jemison, Florence Griffith Joyner, Percy Julian, Ernest Just, John F. Kennedy*, Martin Luther King Jr., Edna Lewis, Abraham Lincoln*, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thurgood Marshall, Garrett Morgan, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Jesse Owens, Rosa Parks, Bill Pickett, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph, Susan McKinney Steward, Sojournor Truth, Harriet Tubman, Sara Breedlove Walker, Booker T. Washington, Phyllis Wheatley, Mary Lou Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Malcolm X
EDITABLE EXCEL SPREADSHEET ORGANIZER
I use this spreadsheet to assign my students to different leaders. It includes a list of many African American Leaders. (Note: The list does include Abraham Lincoln because of his important role in history for freeing slaves.) You can add students names and sort by student, leader, type of leader, gender, or homeroom/class.
I hope you find this product helpful! I have found it really helps get my students excited about the research process and stay organized in the process. I give each of my students a manila file folder as their “special research folder” during the project as well, and they love using it!
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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