Creature Feature - Using Native American Choctaw Literature

While students are completing their research . . .

The research process will take students several days to complete. Listed below are several mini lessons which can be taught during this research process.

  1. Working in groups – If students are not familiar with working in small groups, have them volunteer for jobs such as facilitator, materials manager, recorder, reporter, timekeeper, etc. Go over the responsibilities of each role. Throughout the entire research process, students should be given the opportunity to experience each role if possible.
  2. Plagiarism – Students should be introduced to the word “plagiarism”. Practice summarizing facts by having each small group take a factual paragraph and reword it by changing some of the words but not altering the facts. This mini lesson should be done at the beginning of the research process.
  3. Bibliography – Upper elementary through high school students are beginning to write research papers which should include a bibliography of sources used. Practice with small groups or as a large group by writing bibliography entries for various sources (Internet articles, encyclopedias, books, magazines, etc.).
  4. The Writing Process – Discuss the steps of the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Talk about each step of the process as the students work through the activities of each day. At the end of each class period, discuss the step of the writing process covered in that day’s lesson.
  5. Revision – This part of the writing process can be used to teach any part of the language arts objectives with which students are having difficulties. (e.g. sentence structure, figurative language, sentence variety, vivid verbs, descriptive words, etc.).
  6. Revisions may be done in color pencil or pen so comparisons can be made between the original form and the revised form.
  7. Parts of a book or of a paper – Discuss with students the arrangement of their papers including title page, table of contents, final copy of paper, bibliography page, pictures, etc. Have them use one of their text books to identify these parts in their books.
  8. Text Features – Have groups peruse the research materials on their tables. What features help to explain the text? Have students make a jot list of these (e.g., title, illustrations, photographs, captions, footnotes, sidebars, graphs, charts, etc.). Identify these as text features. Have students make a poster that includes at least five different types of text features to help explain their topics of research.