Yesterday I talked to you guys about the fact that what we’re doing right now is sophisticated stuff.  It is.  This is high level thinking we’re asking you to do this unit.  And because it’s so high level, I feel comfortable holding your hands a little more than usual during the research process.

By now, you should have a pretty general understanding of your big topic.  I’m not saying you could sit down and write your podcast or teach a lesson on the subject, but I’m pretty sure everyone is at the point where if someone went up to you and said, “hey, tell me about _____________,” you’d be able to do it.

Now it’s time to really dig into the stuff.  When Ralph Fletcher was here, he said, “the bigger the topic, the smaller you write.”  That really struck a cord with me. Remember when I told you that analogy about how I don’t teach you everything I know about writing?  I know tons of things to teach you about writing.  I have books and books and books, and website, and articles, and and and and…a plethora of resources and a wealth of knowledge.  But I don’t teach you everything.  I’m discerning about which skills, which approaches, which lessons to teach you.  That’s the approach I want you guys to take to this informational writing unit.

So during class today, you are going to fill out this graphic organizer.  And then you’re going to present it to one of your classmates at the end of the period.  (We will do a fishbowl of this presentation before you do it, don’t worry.)

Happy researching!