Learning About Research and Writing Using the American Revolution

This group of seven lessons has students look at the American Revolution through storybooks, research, and writing poetry.  Students read a story about the American Revolution and then research a political figure.  Next, students create an acrostic poem about the person they research and present it to the class. This research unit can be used in correlation with an American Revolution study, providing students an opportunity for research, but also for creative writing and presentation of research.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.5
Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7
Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.9
Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.7
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.9
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.7
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.8
Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two)...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two)...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7
Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
GLE 0301.4.2
Gather information from a variety of sources to support a research topic.
GLE 0301.4.3
Present research results in a written report.
GLE 0401.3.1
Write for a variety of purposes and to a variety of audiences.
GLE 0401.3.2
Write in a variety of modes and genres (e.g., narration, description, personal expression, imaginative writing, response to literature, response to subject...
GLE 0401.4.1
Conduct research to access and present information.
GLE 0401.4.2
Collect, organize, and determine the reliability of researched information.
GLE 0401.4.3
Present research results in a written report.
GLE 0501.3.1
Write for a variety of purposes and to different audiences.
GLE 0501.4.1
Conduct research to access and present information.
GLE 0501.4.2
Collect, organize, determine reliability, and use information researched.
GLE 0501.4.3
Present the research results in a written report, citing the resources used.
SPI 0301.6.4
Locate information using available text features (e.g., charts, maps, graphics).
SPI 0401.1.13
Recognize and use grade appropriate vocabulary within context.
SPI 0401.3.8
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0401.8.2
Identify characters, setting, and plot in a passage.
SPI 0501.1.15
Recognize and use grade appropriate vocabulary within context.
SPI 0501.3.10
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words/phrases to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0501.6.3
Locate information using available text features (e.g., maps, charts, graphics).
TSS.ELA.3.RI.IKI.7
Use information gained from illustrations and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of a text.
TSS.ELA.3.RL.IKI.7
Explain how illustrations in a text contribute to what is conveyed by the words.
TSS.ELA.3.W.RBPK.7
Conduct short research projects that build general knowledge about a topic.
TSS.ELA.3.W.RBPK.8
Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources, with support; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into...
TSS.ELA.4.RI.KID.3
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific...
TSS.ELA.4.RL.KID.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in a text, such as a character's thoughts, words, or...
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.7
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes, categorize information, and provide...
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade 4 standards for reading.
TSS.ELA.4.W.RW.10
Write routinely over extended time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences; promote writing fluency.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using an effective technique, such as descriptive details and clear event sequences.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.IKI.7
Locate an answer to a question or solve a problem, drawing on information from multiple print or digital sources.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.IKI.7
Explain how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or mood of a text, such as in a graphic novel, multimedia presentation, or...
TSS.ELA.5.W.RBPK.7
Conduct short research projects that use multiple sources to build knowledge through investigations of different aspects of a topic.
TSS.ELA.5.W.RBPK.8
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes...
TSS.ELA.5.W.RBPK.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade 5 standards for reading.
TSS.ELA.5.W.RW.10
Write routinely over extended time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences; promote writing fluency.
TSS.ELA.5.W.TTP.1
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
TSS.ELA.5.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • Gain knowledge about the American Revolution by researching a specific figure from that time period
  • Learn research skills by observing the teacher model how to find information from a variety of sources
  • Apply the research skills they have learned by accessing historical information from a variety of sources, scanning those sources for the type of information they need, and verifying the information they find using multiple sources
  • Practice analysis by interpreting a historical figure's importance to the American Revolution and writing a poem about him or her that demonstrates this importance
  • Develop presentation skills by reading their acrostic poem to the class.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 
  • Publish students' poems in a class book or website titled The Who's Who of the American Revolution.
  • Have students research and write acrostic poems about important battles, places, or events in the Revolutionary War.

Helpful Hints

Materials:

  • If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution by Kay Moore (Scholastic, 1998)
  • Chart paper or transparencies
  • Computer with Internet access
  • LCD projector
  • Overhead projector

References

Contributors: