I figured out that it is much simpler to have students fill out a simple graphic organizer than to have them fill out an entire worksheet. Well, Duh! It's also easier to grade which I like. These graphic organizers were designed to cover the info and still let the students known what they need to know in middle school.
It took a while but even I learn from my mistakes. My students seem much happier with these graphic organizers plus they ARE researching and learning all while they are filling out the organizers – and they don't even know they are learning until test and I tell to just 'visualize what they wrote and write it down.'
I have a set of them for various historical figures throughout Louisiana history from Bienville to Claiborne to Andy Jackson to St. Denis to Huey Long to Earl Long to Jimmie Davis to Louis Armstrong to Mike Foster to Jean Lafitte – I have a bunch of them.
Some use internet sources, some use the textbook, some use general information from class lectures.