This week we paused our Agriculture and Ancient Civilization Unit to focus on a mini-unit pairing acknowledgment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and an introduction to research. The unit began with a close reading of MLK Jr.'s "What Is Your Life's Blueprint" speech. We spent time thinking about our own "blueprints" and answering and discussing comprehension/analysis questions. After this we created a class list of what we already know about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement and a list of questions we have. Students then worked together to sort facts and questions into topics. Each student was asked to choose a topic to research. The class was given sources and began reading up on their topic. The following day I introduced notecards as a means for tracking information and sources when doing research. Students are expected to collect at least 10 notecards with source information a summarized or paraphrased fact.
We also continued our informative writing unit. Students are outlining their essay and beginning a first draft. Next week we will finish up our mini-research unit, informative essays, and continue with Agriculture and Ancient Civilizations. Don't forget that on Wednesday we have a great field trip planned. We will be going to see the play "Akeelah and the Bee", eating at the 7th St. Public Market and visiting ImaginOn.