Empowering Writers

Expository Research Essay Project – Day ONE- Researching

A great way to start back from a long break is by letting your students engage in a fun piece with research!  Students will choose an Arctic animal to research and then write a suspenseful riddle using the facts and information from their research.  (For those of you just joining us, we are using Empowering Writers January Lessons of the Month for this research project.  Click here to download the lesson plans)

The Lesson:

  • If you would like to engage some background knowledge about the topic with your class, show a video to activate students schema about Arctic animals.  Proceed to then have students choose an Arctic animal that they would like to research.  Here is an example of video to play in the classroom.


  • After building background information, as a class, chart information students think would be important to learn about these animals.  Modeling the author’s thought process for students is critical!  Here I am charting the information in a fourth grade classroom

Here is a the completed chart from the video.  It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to create this with your students.  Make sure you leave the chart up as they do their research.  This helps them feel as if they have control over what they are learning.

expository research essay project chart

  • Then give the students time to research this information.

Questions?  Email me.



January 2019