Research for Nonfiction Writing

Contributor: Lisa Ott. Lesson ID: 10513

Good research makes for good writing, but it's also a fun way to discover the world all around you. Using lions, books, and graphic organizers, learn how to turn learned facts into nonfiction writing!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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I am an interesting looking animal.  How might you describe who I am by using your 5 senses? 


What do you notice about this animal?  Are you curious about what this animal is, where it lives, what it eats, and how it survives in its natural habitat?  Questions like these prompt us to seek answers many times within books or other pieces of written text. The facts are written by authors who research — and are knowledgeable about — the facts that answer our questions.  The facts are listed in nonfiction writing.  The first step for a researcher is to gather facts and then organize the facts to put into writing to share with someone else.  This first step in research is also the first step for any author!  In the writing process, this research and writing step is called the Pre-writing stage. 

Researching to find answers may sound like a job for your instructor or another adult, but you are going to be given tools in this lesson to help you become a researcher and an author!   

Nonfiction writing to inform requires facts!  The fun part about gathering facts is that you get to use your senses to see, touch, feel, smell, hear, and taste.  Depending on what you are researching, some of the senses may not be safe, but by using our senses, words used to inform are produced!  Let’s try this out!  

Choose an item in your home that you are very familiar with, like a favorite toy or your pet.  With your instructor’s help, use your senses (those that are safe to use) to tell about this object.  For example, if I chose my dog, my list might look something like this: big, brown, soft, quiet, fast, and smelly.  When you are gathering facts, you may use a helpful note-taking guide such as the Graphic Organizer - Use Your Senses in the Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. You may want to print a few copies because you will be using them throughout the lesson. Use words, or pictures, or a combination of words and pictures to fill in the organizer with the details or facts about your object. Be sure to place the name of the object you are describing in the center of the graphic organizer.    

So now that you have done some research on an object you are familiar with, practice researching an item that is unfamiliar to you. Visit the Scholastic Listen and Read resource to choose a nonfiction book to read (or listen to) to do your research.  Choose a topic you are interested in gathering FACTS about.  Remember to pick something unfamiliar to you.  As you read the book, fill out the Graphic Organizer - Use Your Senses with words that tell facts about the topic.  Remember to use your senses to help you fill in the organizer.

If you need help with using the graphic organizer, watch this How Do You Use a Bubble Map? video:

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