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Aztec, Inca, Maya Quick Research Writing

Use this Aztec, Inca, Maya quick research writing activity to add to your study of civilizations in the early Americas.

This activity will give your students an opportunity to research about a topic they want to learn more about during your study.

This is another free resource for classrooms and homeschool families from The Curriculum Corner.

Choosing a Topic

I added this mini-research project to the project we were working on for a couple of reasons. Our project was giving students a base understanding of the three civilizations we were focusing on. As we read and shared, students had questions about topics we did not have time to dive into as a group. This research and writing activity gave students an opportunity to learn more about what they were interested in.

I began by having students make a list of possible choices. I have included a list of possibilities in the PDF although there are countless other ideas that can be added. Next year, I will have a spot in the room where we make a list as students ask questions in class.

Students began by writing down their topic choices for a focus. Before we moved on, I had students look for information on their topic. I did not want students to choose a topic that would be difficult to complete their research. Once students had found three sources for their focus, they were told to highlight their final decision.

Time to research!

This was our final writing assignment for the year. Because of this, students knew the expectations when they were researching. I reminded them of what we had learned throughout the year but did not need to spend time teaching this part.

Here are some guidelines we have used in my class:

Google is not a reference! Since the first week of school, I emphasized the fact that students should not record information based on what their Google search shows. Students had many opportunities throughout the year to practice this. By this point, they knew that they had to open the articles and read. (Although, a few still tried to avoid this!)

When notetaking, do not write in complete sentences – this makes it too easy to copy what the author says. Also, students must have a better understanding of what they have read in order to just record the details.

Use bullet points to organize your information. In sixth grade, I needed my students to choose a focus for each section of their notetaking. They would write the focus for the heading at the top of box. They could then add bullet points and the details below.

There were other tips and requirements, but these will give you a good starting point.

Planning the writing

Once students have completed their research, have them use their planning page. I had my students write a focus at the top of each section. For the first box, they wrote their idea for a hook.

Below the heading in each box, students needed to put three to four bullet points. Each bullet point then became a sentence in their writing.

Before students began writing, I did a quick check of their plan.

When their planning was completed, they began their writing in Word.

They printed their final papers and put those inside their project. These would have been a great idea to share with families during an open house type of event!

You can download these free resources by clicking on the green apples below:

As with all of our resources, The Curriculum Corner creates these for free classroom use. Our products may not be sold. You may print and copy for your personal classroom use. These are also great for home school families!

You may not modify and resell in any form. Please let us know if you have any questions.