Last night you did some research. You'll need those notes now. You may have studied several people, but for now, focus on just one.
People who write what are called profiles of people suggest that there a few questions that are especially important to ask of any person you are studying.
- What is especially significant or compelling about the person? What is his or her legacy or contribution?
- What is surprising about the person? Any oddities?
- What story, anecdote, scene captures the person?
Take one of them and use that question to get you thinking some new thoughts about the young activist you researched.
After we write for a few minutes, we will share our thoughts.
Today I want to teach you that before writers write about any subject, they first take in a broad cross section of information about that topic, making sure to read different kinds of materials from different kinds of sources. Writers write to explore the topic, often asking themselves these focusing questions: What patterns do I notice? What are the important things to say about this overall topic?
Getting oriented to a topic does not mean reading something and then quickly jumping to conclusions. You don't want to just settle on one little aspect and believe that you have a good grasp on the bigger topic.
Here is an analogy, a little story, to explain what I mean about research.
(Read parable on p.16)
Advice for you...
As information writers, as you get set to write about a topic, always try to make sure you get lots of different points of view, lots of different sources and kinds of reports so that you can see the whole "elephant"--the big picture.
Imagine you have a slew of articles and websites before you, and your goal is to overview the whole elephant, how do you get started?
Share your thoughts.
(Add new bullet points to note-taking chart)
Continue to research teen activism, using the text set that you were given last night, as well as other resources you may have found. You'll have today and tomorrow to take in a broad swath of information. This work will set you up so that you can write broadly about this topic of teen activism. You can also begin to think about a specific issue you may decide to focus on later in this unit.
Right now compare your method of note-taking with the system that kids sitting near you have used.
There will be no talking during this time.
Pass your notebooks to you right. Study your classmates notes. What did she or he do that you could try?
Now pass your notes to the right again and study the new set of notes you are holding.
(add new tips to anchor chart- p.20)
Tonight, continue to read and take notes. Your goal is to take at least 2 more pages of notes tonight. It is important you get a sense of as many parts of this topic as possible. Also, stop and jot your thinking - your analysis- about what you're learning. Be thinking especially about what you might teach others about this topic.