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Puzzles, not Pieces: Using Sources (Day 5 of 5)

Main Core Tie

Secondary Library Media (6-12)
Strand 5: Standard 1

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Grade 11-12
Writing Standard 6

Time Frame

1 class periods of 90 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups

Life Skills

Thinking & Reasoning


Catherine Bates
Michelle Miles


This is Day Four of a Five­ Day unit teaching students strong research skills for a "white paper" style research paper (can be modified for any pro­con research assignment). For the purpose of this assignment, the white paper is an argumentative piece which introduces a problem and argues a solution to that problem.

In this team­ taught lesson, students will learn how to incorporate sources in their paper. Focus will be on treating previous discussion of their topic as a "conversation" they are taking part in.


This lesson requires computers or tablets for students to access UEN library resources. Librarian Teachers should have a computer and projector as well.

Student Prior Knowledge

This lesson will build on prior knowledge from the first four days of the unit.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to join an "existing" conversation about their topic.

Instructional Procedures

Pacing Instructional Sequence Grouping Structure
5­ - 7

Anticipatory Set:

To prepare for the following activity, students will write a journal response to a debatable but fun question such as "Who would win in a fight for world­power: super­intelligent mice with opposable thumbs or chimpanzees with weaponized armor (like iron man)" or "If you had to watch one existing pixar movie every week for the rest of your life, which would be the best choice?"

Students will write a paragraph arguing their stance.

5­ - 20

Fishbowl Activity

Students will be divided into two groups; the librarian will take half and the teacher will take half.

Starting with two­-three students, each group will begin a debate of the topic assigned in the journal. While students in the middle discuss, the rest of the group will sit in a circle around them. Unless you are seated in the middle, you cannot speak.

When students want to join the conversation, they will need to tap the shoulder of someone in the circle to take their place. The goal is to keep the conversation flowing. Any time the conversation has a hiccup (e.g. a student states something already said or ignores the comment before theirs), the teacher/librarian will keep a tally of the hiccup.

Whichever group has the fewest hiccup tallies at the end of the activity will receive candy.

Small/Whole Group
5 - 7

Entering a Discussion

Explain to students that research topics are a conversation just like the one they experienced in the fishbowl. Have the students identify what practices made the conversation flow or produced good discussion. Connect these ideas to writing a paper. How do we enter an existing conversation and contribute something worthwhile?

Review Task List and remind students that the first half of their paper is an opportunity for them to establish the existing conversation.

Whole Group
5 - 10

Model paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting. Discuss with students when they would do each in a paper.

Lecture/Whole Group
45 - 50

Final Research Day

Final in ­class chance for students to work with librarian in their research process. Teacher and librarian will assist students as needed in their research.


Assessment Plan

Assessment will be final paper.

Created: 05/12/2017
Updated: 02/02/2018