Biography: Taking Brief Notes from Multiple Print Sources (Day 4)

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SWBAT gather information from multiple print sources, take brief notes, and sort evidence into provided categories in a step book.

Big Idea

Students apply what they have learned in previous note-taking lessons to continue researching their famous person for the Biography Tea using an encyclopedia.

Modeling and Guided Practice

20 minutes

I started the lesson by telling students that researching involves getting information from multiple sources. Just as no one person knows everything, one source may not include all the facts. You can read another source to find additional information about a topic. We want to make sure to learn as much information as we can about our famous person so that we can write a more informative essay.

I had checked out a set of encyclopedias from our school library. I showed students how to find their topic alphabetically by looking at the letters on the spine. It was the perfect opportunity to remind students why we learned to alphabetize words. I demonstrated how to find the correct volume for Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. I modeled reading the information aloud and writing brief notes on the appropriate section of the step book with a colored pencil. I did this to differentiate from information found in the biography book I’d been reading. It also served as a visual to me that students had found information from a different source. Students helped me identify information that could be included and helped convert sentences into brief phrases. If I read information that could be included in other categories, I added it to the appropriate step. 

Independent Practice

30 minutes

For independent practice, students found information about their famous person in the encyclopedia and took brief notes on their step book with a colored pencil. I had anticipated some famous people, such as Francisca Alvarez, would not be found. I had checked out another book on that person in those instances.  I walked around the room assisting students as needed.


10 minutes

Students were adept at taking brief notes and writing in the appropriate category at this point. I informally assessed them by noting whether or not they had notes written in a different color from a second source.