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Writing About The Holocaust, Research Report


Language Arts, Social Studies  



Title – Writing About The Holocaust, Research Report
By – Kristy Brooten
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 6
Writing About The Holocaust Thematic Unit Contents:

Lesson Plan 1

Grade level: 6
Concept being taught: Writing a research report

I. Objectives
TSWBAT write a research report about someone involved in/an event of the Holocaust

II. Materials
“The Holocaust” article (hard copies and overhead – this article can be found on another website here ), ” Writing Your Thesis Statement Worksheet ,” ” Writing Your Introduction Worksheet ,” What makes a report a report? worksheet (hard copies and overhead)

III. Detailed Lesson Outline
A. Motivation
If you were going to write your own informational/nonfiction book about the Holocaust, what would you write your book about? Take student ideas and write on board (be sure to spread them out to add thesis statements later in lesson). Think back to our Holocaust Remembrance Centers. What did you find there that you already knew about the Holocaust? What would you like to know more about? If suggestions are too broad for a research paper, direct toward more narrow topics. If we decided to write about the Holocaust and explain the whole thing, how long would our book be?? A little longer than we’d want to write! The topic of our book should be something more narrow. (make suggestions if needed)

B. Input
This is the first thing we need to do as writers – pick a (narrow) topic. While we now know that a topic needs to be more specific than the Holocaust, I read an article the other day that is just about the Holocaust. Pass out copies of “The Holocaust.” Read this short research report on the Holocaust. As you read, find out what the most important idea is in the report. If you could summarize the report in one sentence, what would your sentence be? When you’re finished reading, write down you sentence at the bottom of the report and share it with your neighbor.
Share ideas with class. Put up overhead of report. Where did you find the main idea? Does the writer say the main idea in one sentence somewhere in the report? Where? Underline on overhead. This is the main idea of the report; the sentence in the report that states the main idea is called the “thesis statement.” Write “thesis statement: states main idea in one sentence” on board. In our books about the Holocaust, we’ll all need to have a thesis statement. With your neighbor, pick out a main idea that you know a little about and write a thesis statement that would appear in your Holocaust book. Come up to the board and write your thesis statement next to your main idea. Review statements together as class.
Now that we’ve figured out the main idea of this report, let’s talk some more about the report itself. What makes this report a report? Put up What makes a report a report? overhead. We’ve already said that a report needs to have a main idea/thesis statement (write on list). What else do we need in a report? List students’ ideas. Where do we see these elements in the Holocaust report? Identify on overhead as students point them out (write “intro” next to introduction, “conclusion” next to conclusion, etc.). Pass out “What makes a good report?” We talked about what a good main idea/thesis statement is; what do you think a good introduction looks like? Any other ideas? Record ideas on What makes a good report? overhead. Pass out “Writing Your Introduction.” We’ll actually fill this out later, but this sheet gives us some good ideas for how to write a good introduction. Why do think a question would be good? Surprising fact/statistic? Story? Quotation? Do you think the introduction of the Holocaust report is a good one? Reread the introduction in your table groups and look for the things that make a good introduction. Is it good? Why or why not? How could you make it better? Share ideas with class.
Go back to What makes a good report? overhead. What about the body of a report? What makes a good body? Any other ideas? Record ideas. Reread body of this report in groups. Is this a good body? Why or why not? What criteria did you use to decide? Write your criteria in a list. Share ideas with class and record on overhead. (Suggest organization, clarity, appropriate use of detail and interest to reader if not mentioned and look for them in the report.) How do you think the author wrote the body of this report? Do you think he just wrote whatever came to his mind or did he organize it first? What do you think his rough outline looked like?
What about the conclusion? What does a good conclusion do? Any other ideas? (Summarize but bright and fresh; no new ideas) Record ideas on overhead. Let’s read the conclusion together. Does this conclusion do the things we said a good conclusion does? Do you have any suggestions for the writer of this conclusion?

C. Closure
Now that we’ve got an idea about how to write a good research report, we’re going to begin writing our own research reports about the Holocaust that we’ll finish up publishing as our own books about the Holocaust. Where do we start? Pass out “Writing a Thesis Statement” sheets. We begin with a main idea – pick one from the board or from your KWL chart and write down your topic on your “Writing a Thesis Statement” sheet. You can use this to help you later as you develop your thesis statement. What should we do next? How do we begin our research? (Begin with encyclopedia kind of books then look up details in specific books, newspaper and magazine articles, Internet, etc.)
Go to library to research. As students research, walk around and ask all students about their research. Have you copied down all of the bibliographic information you need to cite your sources? Are you gathering interesting quotes and summarizing ideas of your articles? What might you use in your introduction? Jot down these ideas on your “Writing Your Introduction” sheet. Your body? Conclusion?

C. Evaluation
Following adequate research time, give students time to begin organizing their research into a rough outline and writing their rough draft. To evaluate objective, walk around and ask students to share their ideas with you, looking for the main idea/thesis statement, interesting introduction, structure of body, and summarizing conclusion (ideas for these elements if not yet written).

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