Creating Question and Answer Books through Guided Research

As stated in the overview, this lesson focuses on a “learn by doing” series of reading and writing activities designed to teach research strategies. The activity uses KWL charts and interactive writing as key components of organizing information. As a class, students list what they know about insects, prompted by examining pictures in an insect book. Students then pose questions they have about insects, again using picture books as a visual prompt. Students then search for answers to the questions they have posed, using Websites, read-alouds, and easy readers. Periodic reviews of gathered information become the backdrop to ongoing inquiry, discussion, reporting, and confirming information. The lesson culminates with the publishing of a collaborative question and answer book which reports on information about the chosen topic, with each student contributing one page to the book.  Students are guided in research to identify a topic, generate questions about that topic, read about the topic together and independently, determine important information, and then decide and write facts that answer the initial research question.  Each student is responsible for contributing a page in the class collaborative research report (book).

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.1
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.2
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.3
Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.1
Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.2
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.3
Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.7
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.8
Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.2
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.3
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.7
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.8
With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
GLE 0001.3.3
Compose simple stories with teacher assistance.
GLE 0001.4.1
Define and narrow a research question appropriate to grade level and ability.
GLE 0001.4.2
Select a source necessary to answer a research question.
GLE 0101.3.1
Compose simple stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
GLE 0101.3.3
Begin to develop topic sentences.
GLE 0101.4.1
Define and narrow a research question appropriate to grade level and ability.
GLE 0101.4.2
Select a source necessary to answer the research question.
GLE 0201.3.1
Write in a variety of modes for different audiences and purposes.
GLE 0201.3.3
Organize ideas into a topic paragraph with complete coherent sentences.
GLE 0201.4.1
Define and narrow a question for research appropriate to grade level and ability.
GLE 0201.4.2
Gather relevant information to answer a research question.
GLE 0201.4.3
Write a simple research report.
TSS.ELA.1.W.TTP.1
With prompting and support, write opinion pieces introducing the topic or text, stating an opinion, supplying a reason for the opinion, and providing some...
TSS.ELA.1.W.TTP.2
With prompting and support, write informative/explanatory texts, naming a topic, supplying some facts about the topic, and providing some sense of closure.
TSS.ELA.1.W.TTP.3
With prompting and support, write narratives recounting an event, including some details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings; use time order words...
TSS.ELA.2.W.RBPK.7
Participate in shared research and writing projects, such exploring a number of books on a single topic or engaging in science experiments to produce a report.
TSS.ELA.2.W.RBPK.8
Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
TSS.ELA.2.W.TTP.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts.
TSS.ELA.2.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts.
TSS.ELA.2.W.TTP.3
Write narratives recounting an event or short sequence of events.
TSS.ELA.K.W.RBPK.7
Participate in shared research and writing projects, such as reading a number of books by a favorite author and expressing opinions about them.
TSS.ELA.K.W.RBPK.8
With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
TSS.ELA.K.W.TTP.2
With prompting and support, use a combination of drawing, dictating, and/or writing to compose informative/explanatory texts.
TSS.ELA.K.W.TTP.3
With prompting and support, use a combination of drawing, dictating, and/or writing to narrate a single event.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Student Objectives:

Students will:

  • use nonfiction texts and the Internet to gather information, generate questions, and find the answers to questions.
  • explore the genre of Question and Answer Books in print and online.
  • contribute information and illustrations to create a class book in question and answer format.

NCTE/IRA National Standards For The English Language Arts:

  • Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
  • Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 

Extensions:

  • Once the students are comfortable with genre of Question and Answer books, challenge them to write Question and Answer books on their own. Students might investigate a subtopic of the original topic. For example, if the original topic was "Insects" (in general) a subtopic could be bees, ants, or ladybugs. Question and Answer books can relate to any school subject; science is a natural, but so are social studies and other curriculum areas. How about a Q&A book about life in a historical time period? Or a far off land? Or one about the lives of famous inventors? Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups to delve into a topic of interest.
  • Explore the Question and Answer genre online. General sites, such as Yahoo Kids Ask Earl, allow users to post questions about any topic. More focused sites, such as Kids Money Q&A, focus on questions about a specific topic. You might also draw particular attention to the structure of the Ask Jeeves for Kids search engine, which is essentially an Internet-based Question and Answer tool.

Helpful Hints

Materials and Technology:

  • Chart paper or butcher paper
  • colored markers
  • construction paper
  • white photocopy paper 
  • Books from the Non-Fiction Insect Book List
  • Example KWL

Preparation:

  • Gather an assortment of nonfiction picture books about insects or any other topic. Also collect sample question and answer books to use as models for the writing activity. See the Insect Book List and Question and Answer Book List for suggestions. 
  • Find and bookmark Websites for quick and easy access. 
  • Create a list of ten questions about insects (or the topic that you've chosen for your inquiry project). The questions should be keyed to the information available in the sample Question and Answer Books that you've chosen to share in Session Four. 
  • Test the Anatomy of a Hive, Anatomy of a Worker Honey Bee, Changing Cicadas Slide Show, and/or Dances with Bees interactives on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

References

Contributors: