Research Building Blocks: "Cite Those Sources!"

Children are naturally curious—they want to know "how" and "why." Teaching research skills can help students find answers for themselves. This lesson is taken from a research skills unit where the students complete a written report on a state symbol. Here, students learn the importance of citing their sources to give credit to the authors of their information as well as learn about plagiarism. They explore a Website about plagiarism to learn the when and where of citing sources as well as times when citing sources is not necessary. They look at examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing. Finally, students practice citing sources and creating a bibliography.  Students learn how to cite sources and avoid plagiarism.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
GLE 0301.4.2
Gather information from a variety of sources to support a research topic.
GLE 0401.4.2
Collect, organize, and determine the reliability of researched 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.
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:

  • discuss plagiarism. 
  • practice paraphrasing. 
  • credit sources used in research.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Materials and Technology:

  • Chart Paper
  • Internet Access


  • How to Recognize Unacceptable and Acceptable Paraphrases
  • Landmarks Citation Machine
  • The OWL at Purdue: Avoiding Plagerism
  • Pathfinder: Creating a Bibliography