Multi-genre Research Projects

My students are currently working on their multi-genre self portrait poetry anthologies (Georgia Heard, Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School). They are working on them at home while we focus on the poetry toolboxes and revision in school. Next week we will be taking in part in our annual state testing (oh joy), so I am trying to decide what our final unit of study will be after testing is completed. I am very intrigued with the idea of a multi-genre research project.

A multi-genre research project allows students to research a topic of their choice, just as they would with an expository research paper (the “report” we are all used to seeing). My problem with a research report is that I end up reading 45 of the exact same paper, some of which are even plagiarized. The students are bored, I am bored, and I don’t think either of us gets much out of it. A multi-genre project will let my kids research the topic of their choice, thus letting me do a little more work on their research skills before they head off to middle school. But more importantly, it will allow them to be creative and present the information they learn in a synthesized way, without boring regurgitation. I need to lay it out and get some more reading done, but this seems to be the path I will be heading down for our final unit of study!

Does anyone have experience with multi-genre projects in middle school or intermediate grades? I would love to hear an advice or information you have!

*More information:

Introduction to Multi-genre

Multi-genre Writing

A Teacher’s Guide to the Multigenre Research Project: Everything You Need to Get Started

The Multigenre Research Paper: Voice, Passion, and Discovery in Grades 4-6

Rough time

It’s been a rough few days, but today was my vacation from reality.  My girlfriends and I woke up at 5am, met up, drove to the train station, and raced to New York for a taping of “Live With Regis and Kelly”!  It was a great day and so much fun.  Definitely just what I needed.  Of course, tomorrow it is back to reality.

I spent the rest of my day planning for this week.  My students are beginning to work on the revisions for their poems and this week I am assigning their multi-genre poetry anthology.  Of course, that means making my own model.  I’ve spent a lot of time working on it and I hope it inspires my students without inhibiting them.  Sometimes it seems like models give them a template to use and they never vary from it.  I am going to try and encourage them to be creative and only use my model as just that- a model.

Only four days this week, thankfully.  It’s nice to think tomorrow is already Tuesday!

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