Homeschool Reading Specialist

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

Beginning Steps for Writing a Research Paper

on April 28, 2014

research ansaar

In a tutoring session this week, I used a simple technique that produced rewarding results. First, we listened to a story about reptiles and amphibians from After listening, I selected a section of the book.  Ansaar and I took turns reading aloud. As we read each paragraph, we stopped and talked about the text and what it was teaching us. We discussed the similarities of reptiles and amphibians.  We talked about how they were different, their characteristics, and where they lived.

Then I drew a venn diagram.  One circle was “Reptiles”; the other circle was labeled “Amphibians”; there was also a place where the circles intersected.  Ansaar wrote facts unique to reptiles on the left side, facts unique to amphibians on the far right, and facts that are true of both reptiles and amphibians in the middle.  Image

When he had the far left and right circles filled in, I had him verbally review what he had written. Then I had him stand and “pretend” he was giving a report to his class about what he had learned.  After he did this, we discussed an introduction for his report, and he practiced his oral report one more time using the intro we discussed.

When he got the middle part of the diagram filled in, I had him orally present a third time.  By this time, he was comfortable with this format of writing then orally presenting his findings, so when he presented this time, it was fluid and his increased confidence was noticeable.  Now Ansaar had a good handle on the information he learned from the reading lesson, good command of the vocabulary that was new to him, and he had taken his first steps with public speaking.

Next, I opened up google docs and typed the text as he created his report, sentence by sentence. As he orally created his report, he was now comfortable enough with the material to combine ideas and to be creative.  He devised a paragraph to introduce his topic. When it was time to write about the differences of reptiles and amphibians, he naturally contrasted each characteristic we had discussed. We didn’t talk about this skill; it just happened naturally because he was so comfortable with the material from discussing and presenting it prior to writing the report.

Once he finished, I googled images of reptiles and amphibians (which took the learning one step further because he was seeing so many creatures from other countries he had never seen before.) He selected a couple of pictures and we added it to his report. Ta-da!


When it was time to go, Ansaar presented his report to his mom.  He was so happy with his accomplishment, he went and got his grandmother out of the car to come in and listen to him present it once more.  As for me, seeing his excitement, his mother’s smile, and hearing his grandmother say, “He’s actually smiling and happy about doing school work,” made my day.

Happy writing!

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Homeschool Reading Specialist

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

The Measured Mom

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

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