As your kindergarten, first graders, or second graders (and beyond) begin navigating reading informational text, you unlock a great opportunity to connect reading and research writing. I find that my students love researching and learning about animals. A research companion can be just what your students need to scaffold them as they organize the information they read, and begin to write informational and “All About” type explanatory texts.
So what is a Research Companion?
A Research companion is a set of materials that supports students as they read and learn about a certain topic. For me, it usually includes graphic organizers (sometimes more than one choice like a web organizer and a can,have,are graphic organizer), writing pages (I like to include multiple line sizes). I’ve also used anticipation guides or a KWL chart.
I like to use these guides to support students by having the topic listed on the graphic organizers and writing pages as well. Including a graphic or clip art drawing of the topic also helps them to choose the page and makes the writing and research a little more fun and engaging. They are great for building independence like in a research center, writers workshop, or during writing lessons.
Another great place to find and use Research Companions is in combination with science Life Cycle units! Read more about life cycles and research companion resources here!