Guiding Question: What's "Narrative Nonfiction"?
Last week, students selected biographies from the library. These will be independent reading books for the next couple of weeks, so we wanted to provide "page turners" instead of the typical fact-laden, reference-type bios.
|Some favorite narrative-style biographies|
Structurally how is it different?
(Reads like a story: sense of beginning, middle, end; character development, engaging style, chapters often have a central idea)
Visually how is it different?
(paragraphs versus headings and sub-headings, may or may not have pictures)
See titles in our catalog here.
Guiding Question: What's effective note-taking?
Next, we talk about how to take research notes as we read, explaining the differences among quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing. See last year's full lesson here.
|Notes template in Google docs|
In my work with high school students, I've noticed that students need lots of practice with adding their own voice to a research paper. Providing a steady stream of commentary and avoiding a list of facts makes an essay more dynamic and shows what the writer really thinks.
To help students internalize this skill, we ask them to add a personal comment for each of their notes. Comments can be anything that shows their thinking, questioning, or planning about their topic.
Another addition: We ask students to write a category on each note. Asking them for some "meta" data about their fact helps them synthesize what it's about and it will help them organize their facts into an outline later.
Now it's time to read and get inspired by some interesting people!