Follow by Email

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Creating A Research Booklet

Creating a research booklet the children can use to record their findings seems like a daunting task.  I'm not going to lie and say it is easy, but it is definitely doable if you are willing to put in the time.
I use WORD to make my research booklets. The first thing I do is decide if I think my kiddos need a full size booklet or if they are capable of using a 1/2 size booklet. My main concern is... Are most the kiddos capable of writing on smaller lines.  If the answer is yes, go with the 1/2 size.  If not, go with the full size booklet instead.  Once that has been decided I can begin creating the booklet.
I am going to explain how I create a 1/2 page booklet.

Start by setting the page orientation to landscape. Then, make a large text box on 1/2 of the page. Copy this text box and move it to the remaining half of the page. Move the text boxes as close to the edge as possible and make sure to leave enough room between the text boxes to cut the pages in 1/2.  Always click on print preview to see if the entire text box is visible.  If not, you will need to move the boxes around accordingly.

This will be the template you will use to create the entire booklet.  So, go ahead and select a font and save this page as template.

Now, to begin.
For the front cover, you will need to
  • leave blank lines for the title
  • by: and a blank line for the children to record their names
  • and a space for a picture or illustration.  
If you opt to use a picture, you can insert the picture at this time between the title lines and the name line. OR You can locate several pictures and download them to another document. When the class is creating the cover page, print and lay out the picture options. The children select the one they want and glue it into the space provided. 

When the front cover is complete, right click on the text box. Select borders and shading. Opt for no color on the border. This will make your page appear as though you created everything directly on the page instead of using text boxes and manipulation. Now, save the document as 1front cover. Delete the content from the boxes once they are saved.
**HINT: I create one text box and copy the content and paste it into the other text box. This makes the process go by much more quickly.**

For the rest of the booklet, you will follow the same procedures as above for removing the border, saving, and deleting the content of the text box. When you save the pages, I always go with something simple (2contents, 3beak, 4legs, 5flying, etc.)  I include the numbers, so that my booklet is saved in the correct sequence.

Makes it super easy when it comes time to print. The booklet will print in order. You can just lay it on a copy machine and choose double staples. Then, you will cut the booklet down the middle and add more staples if needed. No need to sort, staple each booklet individually or any of that mess. 

When you begin the next page in the booklet, go back and make the border on the text box visible again. This makes it easy to manipulate when you begin to add other features onto the page.

For each of the remaining pages in your booklet you will have to know the non-fiction feature to be showcased on that page. I always start by drawing lines on the page using the shift and line button. The line button is located next to the zero on the keyboard. You will have to play around with the spacing by changing the font size and hitting enter at the end of the line.

This can be a bit frustrating, but it gets easier with practice.  At this point, save this as template2.
Once you have the lines spaced as you wish it is time to add the features you want to include. Below you will find suggestions on how to include various features on your document:
  • contents:  Write the words... Table of Contents on the top of the page.  Leave enough lines for each of the pages you will include.  You will have the children fill out the title of the section and the page numbers as they complete that page of the booklet.
  • title and headings: Bold face the lines, so the children know where to write this information. Shorten the length of the lines as well, so that it stands out from the rest of the print. If appropriate, center the line in the text box to even further distinguish it.
  • photos: Add an additional text box at the top or bottom of the page. Make sure the text box is covering all of the lines on that particular section. OR Make the text box small enough that you can still write next to it.
  • close ups: Go to the symbols section of your drawing tool bar. Click on the circle icon. Draw the circle the desired size you want and move it into place on the document.  Here you will have the choice of playing around with the lines and deleting and tabbing the line over until they are not visibly sticking out of the wrong side of the circle. OR you can leave it and white out the lines after you print.
  • captions: Create a photo box or close up circle. Leave lines under or beside the feature. This will give the children a place to write the caption. Add an extra line or two of space after the caption to separate it from the remaining text.
  • labels: Insert a picture that requires labeling.  Go to symbols on the drawing tool bar and select the arrow.  Draw arrows in the appropriate size pointing to the various parts to be labels.  Inside a small text box draw a line.  Right click on the text box and select borders and shading.  Select no color for the border.  Copy the text box and paste it into the various locations next to the arrows, so that the children may label the appropriate items.  OR You can have the children create an illustration and glue it onto the page and label it independently.
  • list: If you want the class to work on list writing (for example, listing the type of food a hummingbird eats), bullet the lines of print on that particular page. If you know the books you have available list 3 different foods, bullet 3 lines.
There are many other non-fiction features, but this is a good place to start.  Once you have completed all you pages using variations of the examples above print the booklet.  Copy 1/2 the amount of booklets as you have students.  Cut the booklets in half and add additional staples if needed.

Pass out the booklets each day after you lesson.  Have the children complete that particular section of the booklet.  Don't forget to write page numbers on the bottoms of the pages and record the information on the table of contents.

Collect the booklets as the children finish.

I like to include items that the children make in place of some of the xeroxed pages.  Below are a few example:
  • construction paper animals, plant, model of the sky, etc.
  • paintings
  • diagrams made from construction paper and glued into the booklet.
  • construction paper or illustrated drawings of various things (example, foods birds eat... create a worm, seeds, grass, etc.)
  • crayon resist on some of the illustration included in the booklet.
If you have any other ideas on how to do research with young children, please let me know.  I love to get new ideas and incorporate them with my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment