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Everything in my Teacher’s Notebook store is on sale (20% off!) today and tomorrow during their Cyber Monday + Sale. Use the code PLUS15 to get an extra 10% off all of your favorite products!

On Monday and Tuesday, November 30th and December 1, everything in my Teachers Pay Teachers store will be on sale (20% off!). Use their code (it will be on their site tomorrow) to get an extra 10% off there!

Happy Shopping!


Week Three {My First Research Paper}

This is the third, and final week, of your student’s first research paper!  (You can view Week One and Week Two by clicking the links). It is writing week and we are ready!  Begin this week by having your students fill in the “Possible Hooks” page of their Research Booklet.  If writing a hook is a new idea for your students, use the worksheet provided in the My First Research Paper download to get their creative juices flowing.

Their favorite hook can then be used in their opening paragraph (introduction). Now, they are “Ready to Write.” Use these cards and the “Revision Checklist”, from My First Research Paper to go over what you expect to find in their rough draft and set them working.



When my daughter was stuck (getting stuck is part of the writing process at this age–at any age!!!), she found using her notecards helpful. Be sure to have your students use their graphics in their rough draft as “place holders.” Simply lay them on the page to see how much space they need.  Then take them off and write which graphic goes in that spot.

Once their rough drafts are complete–its is time to publish! They are heading toward the finish line–and need lots of time for writing (and breaks)! Keep encouraging them to finish well.

Oh, how fun it is to be done!




Week Two {My First Research Paper}

This week your students will transform their notes into an outline.  Begin this week by ensuring that all of your students’ notecards are complete–as complete as your third graders can get them :)!

The next step is organizing the notecards into groups–the prompted notecards make this a simple step.


Now it is time for your students to begin their informational outline–this is part of their Research Booklet. On the first day of starting the outline, just have them enter the topic headings.


Your students will use the next two days to add in the key points to the informational outline from each notecard.  Don’t let your students write everything from each notecard–just simple phrases to help remind them what important fact they want to include.


The last day of this week have them develop their working outline (also found in their Research Booklet). This is a KEY step, so don’t skip it :)! The goal here is to condense their topics into three main body paragraphs. So, if they have more than three topics (my daughter had four) in their informational outline, they will need to do a bit of regrouping.  She combined her first topic–Characteristics with her fourth topic, Family Life and Lifespan.


It has been a GREAT week of Getting Organized.  We are a week away from Getting it Done!! Be sure to encourage your students–they have been working hard!


Week One {My First Research Paper}

Before we jump into the first week of our research paper, let’s take a look at our plan for the next three weeks:

WEEK ONE:  Pick a Topic; begin research—compile information on note cards; document sources in research booklet.

WEEK TWO Finish research and develop an outline

WEEK THREE:  Turn outline into a rough draft and then a final, polished research paper.

I’ve included instructions throughout My First Research Paper (Get Organized and Get it Done!) that will help guide you through each week, so I won’t repeat all that in this post. Instead, we’ll take a look at an example of how our first week went.


Annelise picked Moose to research (which is pretty fun since she has seen a few around our home). We went to the library and were able to find a good book in the junior non-fiction section that described the Moose in detail. She spent Tuesday reading/looking through the book. On Wednesday we went over the Research Booklet, Prompted Notecards and completed a Bibliography of the book that she found at the library. I also showed her how to begin taking notes on the notecards (writing simple phrases and focusing on the facts in the text).  She spent about twenty minutes that afternoon and Thursday filling in the notecards.



My First Research Paper

This is an exciting time of year for third graders as they embark on writing their first animal research paper.  Okay, maybe for some it is a nail biting, tear-filled experience–but, it doesn’t have to be!  My First Research Paper will help you (and your students) Get Organized and Get it Done!


Here is what is included for YOU:
** a suggested daily schedule of tasks for the next thee weeks
** week by week (and task by task–topic selection, completion of notecards, sources and graphics, development of informational and working outlines, creation of rough draft, the process of editing and drafting the final paper) instructions
** student tracking sheets (to help monitor each student’s progress)
** weekly status reports for parents (these are not included in the homeschool edition).
** mini-lessons on choosing a topic, and writing “hooks,” and documenting sources (with posters)
** and a grading sheet.


For YOUR STUDENTS there are:
** prompted notecards
** a Research Booklet—Everything you need to keep your students’ research organized is included in this booklet.
** a “Ready to Write” rough draft guide
** revision checklist (that mirrors your grading sheet)
** and lots of FUN!

Your students’ FIRST RESEARCH PAPER doesn’t need to be a struggle! Spend the next three weeks helping lay the foundations of some vital life skills—research, critical thinking and analysis of information—not wiping tears or writing lots of animal papers yourself. This pack will help you to get your students organized, so they can get it done!