• National Parks Research Unit 

    Unit Overview:

    Third grade students will have the opportunity to investigate a specific national park to learn about its history, plants, animals, sites to see, and things to do to explore each park’s unique environment.  During the research phase, students will read both printed and digital informational text, take notes, write rough drafts, edit/revise, and produce final copies in a variety of written formats.  In addition, students will create several artistic products to highlight the special features of their selected park.  To complete the unit, these young explorers will assume the role of park rangers and treat visitors to an exciting tour of their park at our annual National Parks Open House.

    The purpose of this unit is to develop research skills as a sequential process used to answer questions and explore big ideas.  Students will learn to communicate the results of their research from many sources in their own words and a variety of ways.   

    Critical concepts and skills that the students will know and be able to use by the end of the unit will include:

    Enduring Understandings:

    • Researchers use a variety of strategies to choose topics to investigate.
    • Both traditional and electronic resources provide information for research.
    • The use of inference is critical for interpreting text.
    • Research requires the researcher to determine the main idea, identify relevant details and facts.
    • A researcher must paraphrase without plagiarizing, compare and contrast, generate questions, organize, draw conclusions, select appropriate products for presenting and understand that not all sources are equally reliable and valid.

    Reading for Informational Text

    • Refer to details and examples in a text
    • Quote accurate text
    • Interpret information and explain how it contributes to the project
    • Draw on information from a variety of sources


    • Write informative text to explain a topic
    • Produce clear coherent writing appropriate for the task and audience
    • Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation

    Speaking and Listening

    • Report on a topic or text to recount an experience using appropriate facts relevant to the theme
    • Speak at a clear understandable pace
    • Add audio or visual displays to presentation to enhance main idea or theme