This is the packet I give to students when we first begin our research-based informational writing project.
The packet includes a step-by-step plan for students and breaks things down to make things a bit easier for even my lowest students.
This project allows students to choose any topic they would like to research (as long as it's approved by me). I always tell the kids to choose a topic they don't already know a lot about, so they are learning something new.
These are the steps that I use with my kids (you can easily chop out any of the steps you'd like).
1. Choose a topic
2. Obtain information and gather a bulleted list of this info.
3. Find a credible source to complete a phone interview with, first developing a set of questions to ask.
4. Use your information to write a rough draft.
5. Warm and cool feedback, as well as peer and teacher conference. (See my Blog post about Warm/Cool Feedback)
6. Publish your final essay/present.
I do have my kids conduct interviews. This is a TON of work, as I have to facilitate this each step of the way, but the benefits of conducting a real interview are tremendous.
Hope your kiddos have as much fun as my kids do with this project!