Lesson Plan

Conducting a Short Research Project

Students will learn about Seaworld attractions. They will conduct a short research project in order to inform an audience about the upcoming changes at SeaWorld. They will use a graphic organizer to record information from several sources.
Trista C.
Classroom teacher
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My Grades 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies

Students will be able to:

        1. Conduct a short research project 

        2. Close read and annotate a print and/or digital text by highlighting key details, quotes, evidence, etc., in the text

        3. Gather information from several sources and record information in a graphic organizer

        4. Write an informative piece about the topic


English Language Arts
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

Activity: Conversing

Bring the class together for a whole group discussion. Ask the students the following questions and allow enough time for students to share their responses with each other and as a whole class. 

 1. How many of you have every been to SeaWorld in            Orlando Fl, San Antonio TX, or San Diego CA? 

   (If some of the students do not know what SeaWorld is than show them some pictures of SeaWorld or visit SeaWorld's website http://seaworld.com/ ). 

2. How many of you would like to go visit SeaWorld?  Why would you want to go visit SeaWorld? (Make a list of the students responses on a Class Chart).

Use some of the students' responses to discuss why many people love visiting SeaWorld's Attractions. 

Explain why some people such as animal activists may be against SeaWorld keeping ocras in tanks.

          Ask students, "Why do you think some people may be against SeaWorld's attractions such as keeping killer whales in large tanks, etc.?"  Make a second column on the class chart to record students' responses. 

Explain to students that they will be conducting a short research project to gather information on SeaWorld's plan to change some of their attractions. 

2 Direction Instruction

The teacher will introduce to the students the text-dependent question(s):

     "How does SeaWorld plan to change their attractions and what effect will this plan have on the ocras at SeaWorld and the people who visit SeaWorld?" 

Allow the students time to login to their Google Drive & Classroom account to access the digital copies of the sources and graphic organizer provided. 

Student choice:   Pass out the Graphic Organizer for students to record written notes or have the students to click on the graphic organizer link in Google Classroom https://docs.google.com/a/wcboe.k12.md.us/document/d/1ndp9z1yv7QmzvRK5i-E4s1Q1EJAXMHYiAj2g222RDrM/edit?usp=sharing

 Have the students to click on the newspaper article, Activists say ending SeaWorld orca shows not enough​,https://docs.google.com/a/wcboe.k12.md.us/document/d/1Iofo-_BrvESwgIfiITdh4VhN6Xe__CRusHZwgqAYcDE/edit?usp=sharing

Explain to the students that we are going to read closely at this text and annotate the text as we read. The teacher will model how to annotate the text by looking for key details in the text.  After reading the text, the teacher will model how to record some of the annotated marks in order to gather information from this source. The teacher will record notes on graphic organizer. 

Allow time for students to ask questions about task. 

3 Guided Practice

The teacher will assign students partners. Have the partners click on the second article in Google Classroom-"Even a big aquarium is too small for a whale."

  (The second article came from Newsela https://newsela.com/articles/captive-whales/id/5407/

Explain to the students that they will read the text with their partner while annotating key ideas. After they read the text, the partners will record some of their annotated notes on their graphic organizer. 

The teacher will check in with the students while providing feedback on reading closely at the text. Monitor how students annotate the text and what key ideas they record on their graphic organizer. 

4 Independent Practice

The students will click on the third article in Google Classroom- "SeaWorld says it will make life better for its killer whales." 

 (Newsela https://newsela.com/articles/seaworld-orcas/id/4865/

The students will read the third article while annotating the text. After the students read the article, they can record any additional notes found in the text. 

The students may share some of their responses with the class. 

The teacher will direct the students to Google drive and instruct them to create a new document.

The teacher will refer back to the text dependent question(s). 

    "How does SeaWorld plan to change their attractions and what effect will this plan have on the ocras at SeaWorld and the people who visit SeaWorld?" 

The students will respond to the question. The students will  type their informative writing piece into Google Docs and include their notes within their writing. 

5 Wrap-Up

Free, Paid

The teacher will direct students to the padlet link http://padlet.com/calhotri/Seaworld. The teacher will show students how to upload their Google Doc onto a sticky note. 

The teacher will show the students how to type a response on the sticky note. "I would visit SeaWorld or I think SeaWorld should send the ocras out into the wild because..."

Allow the students to upload their Google doc and typed response onto a sticky note. 

Allow the students time to share and read other students' work.