The class: Senior High Composition. The place: Union City Community High School. The teacher: Mr. Leahey. The year: 1981. The student: Me….formerly straight A student for the last two years of high school…on the brink of breaking that perfect streak.
Yep, it snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed.
And this girl, who had let herself get behind on creating two hundred index cards of information for her senior paper on Robert Kennedy, had a chance for redemption.
I can still remember the back ache at the end of the day.
But more importantly….I remember that at the end of eight hours of a “day off” due to inclement weather, with dozens of books strewn around me on the floor, I got caught up.
My 4.0 for the last two years would remain intact….because I had gotten caught up on my snow day.
Through that experience, I developed an incredible empathy for my future curriculum users and “book-testing” students.
I know first hand how difficult writing a research paper can really be for students. I understand how impossible it can feel to get caught up when you fall behind in the research process. And years later, I knew that I wanted a better way, an easier way, in my books.
(Thankfully, I had a terrific English teacher who truly helped us through those dozen sources and two hundred cards with compassion and lots of hand holding.)
Teaching research writing is not for the faint of heart. That is why I have detailed my Overview Source, Color-Coded Research, Bibliography Cards (with MLA Citation spots), and Notetaking Cards so fully in my books.
And tested, tested, tested these methods, tweaking the books (don’t ask my husband how much THAT cost me in editors and typesetters!) until I knew the approaches worked.
So where can you find these lessons (besides the two videos below of me teaching them to upper junior high/beginning high schoolers)?
Well, lots of places!
Specifically, Books IV and V of Write On, Beauty and Beast; Write On, Mowgli; and Write On, Peter Pan usually have at least one research report in them. (See the Tables of Contents and Projects Included at our store.)
There are also research reports in every first semester Meaningful Composition book (along with many other types of writing). You can find these at our store too—Meaningful Composition 5 I; Meaningful Composition 6 I; Meaningful Composition 7 I; Meaningful Composition 8 I; and Meaningful Composition 9 I. (There are two week samples of each MC book available to download, print, and “try before you buy”!)
For incremental, detailed learning of these skills throughout an entire semester, however, you will likely want one of my research-report only books:
Meaningful Composition 8 II: Junior High Research Reports
Meaningful Composition 10 II: Four Research Reports
Meaningful Composition 12 II: The BIG Research Report (Very challenging—do not start with this book!)
I hope you enjoy watching the teaching video (FB Live video) as much as I enjoy teaching these amazing kids! And as much as I enjoy teaching “the color-coded research” method!