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Phase III


  1. Students follow their search plans, revising them as necessary.

  2. Students gather information inside the school at the media center or the library and outside the school through interviews, trips, and other libraries. They record this information on notecards or in other ways.

  3. Students engage in activities to make sense and construct meaning. They integrate information from various sources. They engage in analyses such as:
    • compare and contrast
    • pro and con
    • cause and effect
    • sequence

  4. Students participate in classroom-based enrichment activities related to the theme and overarching concepts of the I-Search Unit to expand their knowledge.

  5. Students write in their journals, reflecting on the "ups and downs" of their search process.

  6. If appropriate, students start drafting paragraphs for their I-Search reports.

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Sample Activities

* In one school, students were asked to include interviews with experts or people who experienced disasters for their I-Search reports. Susan, the language arts teacher, lead the class in a lesson about how to pose good, "fat" interview questions.
* Examples of information-gathering letters sent out by students.

* One team of sixth grade teachers designed a strategy to help their entire team of 125 students exchange information during Phase III of a unit on "How the Atlantic Ocean Affects New England's Economy: Past, Present, and Future."

* Students used Venn diagramsto compare and contrast the river they chose to study with the White River.

* Database Program Activity, from the Teacher's Guide to Developing an I-Search Unit, a component of the Make It Happen! manual
A database is a tool that allows users to store information in an organized way and to retrieve information in response to queries. Using a database encourages higher-level thinking skills as students go beyond the facts to search for trends and relationships, make and test hypotheses, and explore the meaning of data. Database programs are helpful to students who need a tool to organize or categorize information. Database programs provide a concrete context for discussing relationships, hypotheses, and conclusions.

* A Cooperative Learning Activity, from the Teacher's Guide to Developing an I-Search Unit, a component of the Make It Happen! manual

* Student's calendar from an I-Search Unit on rivers

Photo of student entering data into a computer A 6th grade student analyzes data she has been gathering from varied resources.

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