Cluster 3: Research to Build and Present Knowledge

General Information
Number: LAFS.7.W.3
Title: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Type: Cluster
Subject: English Language Arts
Grade: 7
Strand: Writing Standards

Related Standards

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

LAFS.7.W.3.AP.7a
Follow steps to complete a short research project (e.g., determine topic, locating information on a topic, organizing information related to the topic, drafting a permanent product).
LAFS.7.W.3.AP.8a
List Internet search terms for a topic of persuasive writing.
LAFS.7.W.3.AP.8b
List Internet search terms for a topic of study.
LAFS.7.W.3.AP.8c
Gather relevant information (e.g., highlight in text, quote or paraphrase from text or discussion) from print and/or digital sources.
LAFS.7.W.3.AP.8d
Gather information (e.g., highlight, quote or paraphrase from source) relevant to the topic or text from print and/or digital sources.
LAFS.7.W.3.AP.8e
Quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others in writing while avoiding plagiarism.
LAFS.7.W.3.AP.8f
Use a standard format to produce citations.
LAFS.7.W.3.AP.8g
Evaluate print and digital sources to refine ideas or thoughts while writing.
LAFS.7.W.3.AP.9a
Provide evidence from grade-appropriate literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

A Search for Central Ideas: Examining Florida Wildlife:

In this lesson, students will work on identifying use of text features, and determining the meaning of selected vocabulary, key details, and central ideas in two informational texts in the form of brochures, brochures created by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about Florida manatees and alligators. Graphic organizers and answer keys are provided, as well as the brochures, and resources to help with the review of text features and central ideas.

Type: Lesson Plan

Brochures: A Creative Format for the Study of Informational Texts :

In this lesson, students will work with two informational texts in the form of brochures, texts about Burmese pythons and lionfish. With the lionfish brochure, students will identify the text features used, determine the central ideas and key supporting details, and work with selected vocabulary. Students will then be provided with informational text on a different animal and they will put their skills to use to create a brochure of their own. Various graphic organizers and teacher resources have been included as attachments with the lesson plan, including a rubric for the students' brochure. Additional resources have also been provided in the Further Recommendations section to help teachers gather resources for students to use to create their own brochure.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ribbons: Using Mini-Research to Unravel Ancient Chinese Practices:

This series of lessons/unit is a short research project designed to help students learn more about the experience of foot binding discussed in the short story "Ribbons" by Laurence Yep. Students will research foot binding using provided sources as well as reliable sources they have chosen on their own. Students will use digital media in addition to speaking and listening skills to present their findings to the class. The project assignment, various checklists, and a project/presentation rubric have been provided, as well as several sites that students can use to begin their research.

Type: Lesson Plan

Child Soldiers Lesson 3: Research Paper:

In this lesson, students will conduct research and write a formal paper on child soldiers. Students will learn about primary and secondary sources and how to determine the credibility of their sources. The teacher will provide support on how students should record their citations and how to take notes on note cards. This is part three of a three-part lesson on child soldiers.

Unit overview: This unit will guide students though the process of reading multiple texts to develop knowledge about the topic of child soldiers and will culminate in a final research project. The first lesson focuses on news articles while the second lesson concentrates on one former child soldier's story as portrayed through interviews and his music. As a whole, the unit integrates close reading of multiple sources with speaking and listening activities and provides students with opportunities to write routinely from sources throughout the unit. The unit provides ample occasions for students to read, evaluate, and analyze complex texts as well as routine writing opportunities that encourage reflection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Child Soldiers Lesson 2: The Music of a War Child:

In this lesson, students will listen to a song, read a biography, and then view a speech, all from a former child soldier from the Sudan and current international hip-hop star Emmanuel Jal. Students will examine the information presented in all three formats by taking Cornell Notes and then participate in a fishbowl discussion based on the lesson's guiding questions. As a summative assessment, students will write a paragraph answering one of the guiding questions, supporting their ideas with text evidence. This is the second lesson of a three-part unit that will build towards having the students research and write a paper on child soldiers.

Unit overview: This unit will guide students though the process of reading multiple texts to develop knowledge about the topic of child soldiers and will culminate in a final research project. The first lesson focuses on news articles while the second lesson concentrates on one former child soldier's story as portrayed through interviews and his music. As a whole, the unit integrates close reading of multiple sources with speaking and listening activities and provides students with opportunities to write routinely from sources throughout the unit. The unit provides ample occasions for students to read, evaluate, and analyze complex texts as well as routine writing opportunities that encourage reflection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Child Soldiers Lesson 1: Analysis of News Articles:

In this lesson, students will read a series of three news articles about Sudanese efforts to disband child soldier units. Working in small groups, then partners, and finally independently, students will work to determine the meaning of selected vocabulary from each article, respond to text-dependent questions, and complete a graphic organizer answering the lesson's guiding questions and citing evidence from the text in support of their analysis. Students will then write an extended paragraph in response to one guiding question of their choosing. This is the first lesson of a three part unit that will build towards having the students research and write a paper on child soldiers.

Unit overview: This unit will guide students though the process of reading multiple texts to develop knowledge about the topic of child soldiers and will culminate in a final research project. The first lesson focuses on news articles while the second lesson concentrates on one former child soldier's story as portrayed through interviews and his music. As a whole, the unit integrates close reading of multiple sources with speaking and listening activities and provides students with opportunities to write routinely from sources throughout the unit. The unit provides ample occasions for students to read, evaluate, and analyze complex texts as well as routine writing opportunities that encourage reflection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Incursion of the Lionfish: Text Features, Text Structure, and Author's Central Idea- A Close Read:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close read of an informational text about the invasion of lionfish in the Gulf of Mexico. Students will work to determine the meaning of selected vocabulary, determine the author's central idea, and analyze how the use of text features and the cause/effect text structure support and develop the author's central idea. Text-dependent questions and a key, an annotation handout, text feature cards for review, and a friendly letter template and writing rubric for the summative assessment have been included with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Freak the Mighty: Morquio Mini Research:

This lesson plan is a short research project designed to help students learn more about Kevin’s disease in Freak the Mighty.  Students will research Morquio syndrome using provided sources as well as reliable sources they have chosen on their own. Students will use digital media in addition to speaking and listening skills to present their findings to the class. Throughout the lesson, students will have ample opportunity to develop and refine reading, writing and speaking and listening skills to work towards mastery of the lesson objectives. Checklists and a project/presentation rubric have been provided with the lesson, as well as several sites that students can use to begin their research.  

Type: Lesson Plan

The Hangman: A Socratic Discussion:

In this lesson, students will be challenged with self-discovery as they use the Socratic discussion method to gain a deeper understanding of the poem, "The Hangman," by Maurice Ogden. Teachers will guide students using text annotation to focus on specific word choice and examine its impact on the poem. Further, students will gain a deeper understanding of the poem through responding to text-dependent questions. In the culminating writing assignment, students will choose from two topics to demonstrate their understanding through a written response that is supported by details from the text. A PowerPoint, text-dependent questions and key, rubrics for the writing tasks, and other handouts are included as attachments with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

One Wicked Walrus, a Careless Carpenter, and Oblivious Oysters:

In this lesson, which is part 2 in a series, students will study the seemingly innocuous poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll and analyze the plot sequence and main character attributes that lead to the ultimate demise of all those silly little oysters! The students will complete a plot organizer, answer text-dependent questions relating to the plot and character development, and write an essay at the end of the lesson to further analyze the characters in the poem. Graphic organizers and answer keys, text-dependent questions and a key, and the writing prompt and rubric are all included with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Is Anyone Hungry? Got Oysters? The Walrus and the Carpenter – Two Tragically, Hungry Characters:

In this close reading lesson, the first in a series of three lessons, students will analyze "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll. They will work to determine the meaning of selected vocabulary words from the poem, including coming up with synonyms and antonyms for each word and using each word in a sentence. Students will also analyze the use of various types of figurative language, as well as the use of repetition and rhyme and how this use impacts meaning and tone throughout the poem. Graphic organizers and other student handouts, a vocabulary assessment, short and extended answer questions, a writing rubric, and several suggested answer keys are included with this lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Internal Conflict in "A Day's Wait":

Students will examine the concept of internal conflict in Ernest Hemingway's short story, "A Day's Wait." Several activities and worksheets, such as vocabulary mapping, a conflict multi-flow chart, and a self-reflection rating scale, are provided to deepen understanding. The lesson culminates in an analysis essay of the impact of Hemingway's stylistic use of first-person point of view to add suspense to a story.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sleep On It: A Close Reading Lesson:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close read of the article, "Why Teenagers Really do Need an Extra Hour in Bed" by Russell Foster (published on April 22, 2013 in Issue 2913 of NewScientist). For the first reading, students will focus on academic vocabulary. In the second reading, students will answer text-dependent questions to guide their comprehension of the article. In the third close reading, students will choose important facts in the article and cross-reference them with other articles to determine the validity and reliability of the evidence. Graphic organizers and worksheets, along with suggested keys and a writing rubric, have been provided. For the summative assessment, students will write a persuasive letter in which they make a claim regarding sleep and support it with textual evidence.

Type: Lesson Plan

Benjamin Franklin - A Man of Amazing Accomplishments: A Close Read:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close read of an excerpt from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. For the first close read, students will focus on multiple meaning vocabulary words and will define them and write their own sentences using the words. In the second close read, students will answer questions about the text using textual evidence. These questions will lead them to analyze characteristics and events in the life of a young Ben Franklin. As students read the excerpt a third time, they will develop a research question about how a characteristic or event in the life of young Ben Franklin influenced an accomplishment of an older, mature Ben Franklin. Students will research the life of Ben Franklin to answer their questions in a one to two page paper, which they will ultimately share with their peers for the summative assessment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: As You Like It:

The goal of this two day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they've been practicing on a regular basis to unpack the meaning of Jacques' soliloquy from William Shakespeare's As You Like It. By reading and rereading the passage closely and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will be able to understand the structure and purpose of this particular soliloquy and how it delves into universal themes regarding the human condition. When combined with writing about the soliloquy, students will discover how much they can learn from even a very short selection of a text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Engineering the Perfect Poem by Using the Vocabulary of STEM:

In this lesson by Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D. and James L. Welsh, provided by ReadWriteThink.org, a website developed by the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, with support from the Verizon Foundation, students will use the Internet to research unique engineering careers. Students will then create poems incorporating career-specific vocabulary terms and present their findings to the class.

Type: Lesson Plan

User Beware: Foreshadowing and Morals in "The Monkey's Paw":

In this lesson, students will read "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs. They will answer text-dependent questions that include having students analyze the text for foreshadowing clues, as well as use of situational irony. Students will use context clues and dictionaries to determine the meanings of selected vocabulary words from the story. Students will also work to determine morals in the story and will write two extended response paragraphs articulating the moral and how each is developed and supported by textual details. A PowerPoint on theme versus morals, foreshadowing, and situational irony is provided to help students with these concepts. Text-dependent questions, an answer key, a vocabulary handout, a teacher's guide for the story, and a rubric for the summative assessment are provided.

Type: Lesson Plan

"A Retrieved Reformation" by O. Henry - Inference and Evidence:

Students will read O. Henry's "A Retrieved Reformation" and be able to analyze elements of the story, such as foreshadowing and inference, by identifying supporting details in a text. Students will be able to analyze the theme of the text and, in response, write an objective summary with textual evidence.

Type: Lesson Plan

"Uncoiling" the Theme:

In this lesson, students will read the poem "Uncoiling" by Pat Mora, determine the poem's theme (central message) by identifying various literary devices through a close reading of the text, and then compose a written analysis of the poem, as they understand it.

Type: Lesson Plan

Community and Me:

This is a lesson in understanding symbolism, reading comprehension, conducting Internet research, and writing arguments. Students will listen toThe Giving Tree, read "What Do Fish Have to Do With Anything" by Avi, and then conduct research to explore needs in their community. Students will then use text evidence compiled throughout the lesson activities to construct an essay to convince their reader as to whether or not community service is important.

Type: Lesson Plan

Edgar Allan Poe: A Life in Poetry:

In this lesson, students will be introduced to the life of Edgar Allan Poe and some of his poetic works through a series of interactive activities while working together within a cooperative learning environment. Students will analyze and discuss various nuances of Poe's life and poems and write an explanatory essay about what they learned.

Type: Lesson Plan

Literature Circles, Research, and Technology:

In this lesson, students will choose from high-interest award winning novels to conduct their own literature circle novel study. They will prepare a comprehensive summary of their literature circle learning. Then, students will conduct research about the author and prepare a PowerPoint Presentation to share their learning with the class. Finally, students will create author interview questions and answers which will be used as part of their script for their culminating podcast presentation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Family on the Go:

The main problem students will need to rank the best hybrid car for the family to buy which shows the most fuel efficient, highest safety rating, best price, and most comfortable car for a family of four. The family is interested in a hybrid. Students will then be asked to look over their finding and evaluation checklist and change the four passenger vehicle to an SUV in order to fit grandma and grandpa that will soon be moving in. The students will be given new data set that includes all SUV's currently on the market. They will use the ranking formula they devised to figure out the best SUV for the family. Next, they write a letter to the family explaining their findings and the reasons for their choice.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Analysis of a Political News Article:

Students will read a news article on an immigration policy being presented by the President just prior to election. Students will determine the essential message of the article, examine the information presented to determine author intent, and write a written response citing evidence from the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: Tom Sawyer:

The goal of this one day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they've been practicing on a regular basis to discover the rich humor and moral lesson embedded in Twain's text. By reading and rereading the passage closely, and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will explore the problem Tom Sawyer faced and how he "solved" his conundrum. When combined with writing about the passage, students will learn to appreciate how Twain's humor contains a deeper message and derive satisfaction from the struggle to master complex text. At the end of the lesson, students are provided two writing prompts to constructive a narrative inspired by Twain's text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Government Knows Best!:

Government take over is upon the United States--well, it is in the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr! In this lesson, students in your classroom will question if we are all treated equally and if we really want equality "every which way." This close reading lesson allows students to explore cause and effect relationships in this engaging, dystopian short story. Students are also challenged to compare the messages in "Harrison Bergeron" with the poem "Government of Evil." Graphic organizers, text-dependent questions, answer keys, and a writing rubric for the summative assessment are included with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Wednesday Wars: Vietnam Mini Research:

The setting of the novel The Wednesday Wars occurs during a significant period of American history. As an introduction to this novel, students will research the Vietnam War using provided sources as well as reliable sources they have chosen on their own. Students will use digital media in addition to speaking and listening skills to present their findings to the class. Links to selected introductory videos about the Vietnam War, student checklists, a presentation/project rubric, and a digital project sample have been provided with the lesson, as well as several sites that students can use to begin their research.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Paraphrase Pioneers:

Learn to paraphrase grade-level content in this tutorial that includes passages about some of America's most notable pioneers.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Avoiding Plagiarism and Citing Sources:

Learn more about that dreaded word--plagiarism--in this interactive tutorial that's all about citing your sources and avoiding academic dishonesty!

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Idea

Finding Science through Reading Science Fiction:

In this ReadWriteThink.org lesson, students will be able to explore the genre of science fiction, while learning more about the science integrated into the plot of the story using nonfiction texts and resources. First, students define the science fiction genre and then read and discuss science fiction texts. Next, they conduct research to find science facts that support or dispute the science included in the plot of the science fiction book they read. Students then revisit their definition of the genre and revise based on their reading. Finally, students complete a project that examines the science fiction genre in relation to real-world science concepts and topics. This lesson plan makes the connections between the worlds in science fiction and students' real world explicit by asking them to explore the underlying science that supports the fictional world and considering its relationship to the real science in today's society.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resource

Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism:

This text resource from Cornell University includes brief information on the what, why, how, and when of documenting sources in a research paper. The resource provides information on what plagiarism is, when and how to document sources, the difference between primary and secondary sources, and definitions of the following words: documentation, citation, and reference. The resource also provides a quiz to identify whether the writing sample in each exercise uses sources properly.

Type: Text Resource

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Paraphrase Pioneers:

Learn to paraphrase grade-level content in this tutorial that includes passages about some of America's most notable pioneers.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Avoiding Plagiarism and Citing Sources:

Learn more about that dreaded word--plagiarism--in this interactive tutorial that's all about citing your sources and avoiding academic dishonesty!

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.