Interactive Research Papers & Essays for Common Core Writing Grades 4-6

Lovin Lit
Grade Levels
4th - 6th
Formats Included
  • Zip
100 pages
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Lovin Lit


This is the companion to my Interactive Writing Notebooks, picking up where it leaves off with more advanced writing assignments. Just like my other products, all of these lessons are differentiated and scaffolded to meet ALL of your students' needs.

This product includes 5 very detailed writing units that will likely take between 1-2 weeks to complete each one. These units can be done in any order but do increase in difficulty with each one.

You do not have to have my Interactive Writing Notebook in order to complete these lessons, but this product is its companion.

Here's a short summary of each unit:

Lesson 1: Mini-Research Paper
Students participate in a simulated research paper on Hurricanes. They are introduced to the concept of using note cards for details. and practice sorting the note cards into categories in order to organize details in a research paper. Students also annotate and identify paragraph structure before selecting their own topic and completing a mini-research paper.

Lesson 2: Mini-Biography
Students will watch 2 videos and read a comic autobiography to find details about an author. Then, they’ll organize the details as if they are index cards and practice plugging those details into an outline first and then a one-paragraph research paper that the teacher and students write together. Next, the students selects a celebrity or historical figure to research and write a mini-biography about following the same format they used in the previous activity.

Lesson 3: Biography
Since this is the first 5-paragraph essay (WOW) students encounter, they’ll start with a backwards biography. The students read and analyze an exemplar biography and turn it into an outline. Then, they’ll determine what the index cards must have said based on the details. After completing the first biography from end to beginning, they are ready to write their own biography from beginning to end with an example to help them along the way.

Lesson 4: Mini-Argumentative Paper
Students will read a nonfiction article with an open ending. Then, they’ll make a T-Chart and list the evidence that suggests theory A and the evidence for B. Then, the class writes a sample mini-argumentative paper to argue theory A from start to finish. With the first argumentative paper as a model and guide, students now write their own paragraph with the same structure but supporting theory B.

Lesson 5: Argumentative Essay
In this 5-paragraph essay project, students start with the interactive reading of a classic short story. Then, the teacher presents an essay (included) that “proves” something about the story with actual text evidence (swayed one way, of course). The students are eager to refute the teacher and must find text evidence to the contrary. Then, the students dissect the teacher’s essay to determine the format and use that to make a plan for their own similar essay that argues the opposite theory. In this assignment, students have to make an assertion, provide three reasons for the assertion, along with two pieces of text evidence per reason, and an explanation of how each piece of evidence supports the reason. Yes, this is the most challenging BIG DOG research paper, but there is so much scaffolding and differentiation included here that your most challenging (and younger!) students will experience success!

Be sure to visit my blog for more information about using these Interactive Research Papers!

Need help??
Help with ZIP files:
Comprehensive FAQ on Interactive Notebooks:

More Interactive Notebooks for ELA:

Interactive Grammar Notebooks ~ Grammar & Mechanics for Common Core Grades 4-8Interactive Literature Circles for Grades 4-8Interactive Poetry Notebooks: Poetry Elements for Common Core Grades 4-8+Interactive Reading Literature Notebooks ~ Literary Elements for Common Core 4-8Interactive Reading Notebooks Informational Text: Nonfiction for Common Core 4-8Interactive Writing Notebooks ~ Sentences & Paragraphs for Common Core 3-8
Total Pages
100 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 months
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


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