Benchmark 3

Step 1: Plan & Focus


  1. State a topic in the form of a…
  • Broad question
  • Problem (Is this a real-life problem?)
  • Statement generated through brainstorming
  1. Generate several questions about what they want to know, what they want to learn, where and how they will find out
  2. Read some information about their topic in order to refine questions or make statements
  3. Categorize and focus the questions or statements to aid research (clustering, mind mapping, webbing, etc.)  


Step 2: Find Out ~ Locate ~ Gather


  1. Use different sources of information: dictionaries, encyclopedias, CD-ROMs, and Internet
  2. Use subject, author, title, and keyword searches to find materials using the online catalog
  3. Use skim & scan reading techniques (Pick out key words and phrases; Identify fact boxes, charts, graphs, captions, tables, bold headings, pictures and captions)
  4. Select relevant information by comparing it with the focus questions
  5. Use note-taking strategies to paraphrase information
  6. Complete note-taking process with one source before locating another source so student knows what other information is needed
  7. Understand that information must be in his/her own words because of copyright
  8. Cite sources using a simplified bibliography 

Step 3: Organize


  1. Categorize notes according to the focus questions
  2. Use tools to organize and summarize information: mind maps, Venn diagrams, grids, charts, and/or morphological charts
  3. Compare and contrast information
  4. Determine relevant and irrelevant information
  5. Use calendar process (flow chart, timeline)
  6. Use techniques for managing information: note cards, notebooks, portfolios
  7. Use teacher-created checklist to manage contents of folders
  8. Create a simple draft of information -- lists, sentences, paragraphs (topic sentence, beginning and ending)

Step 4: Interpret ~ Analyze

  1. Understand differences among fact, fiction, and opinion
  2. Ask how, why, and what-if questions in interpreting informational text
  3. Question reliability of information
  4. Determine whether original questions have been answered (Do I need to go back and gather more information?)
  5. Summarize and draw conclusions from research
  6. Ask questions and support answers by connecting prior knowledge with literal information found in and inferred from text 

Step 5: Report Findings

  1. Present information in a variety of ways (informal sharing, simple reports-written and word processed, experiments, models, murals, dioramas, journals, multimedia)
  2. When appropriate, share findings/results outside of school community, e.g. interviewees, neighborhood groups
  3. Write brief reports (ODE 3rd grade standard requirement)
  • Include observations and information from two or more sources
  • Use diagrams, charts, or illustrations that are appropriate to the text 

Step 6: Assess ~ Reflect

  1. Use appropriate scoring guides (writing, speaking, visual) to assess own work
  2. Determine satisfaction with information and finished product

Ethical & Legal

  1. Understand that the sources used were created by others
  2. Understand that work needs to be his/her own
  3. Cite sources used
  4. Demonstrate safe and respectful use of technology tools
  5. Use materials responsibly (take care of things as your own)
  6. Share tools and resources (e.g., computer time, reference books, information that would assist another student’s research…) 


Contact Us

Phone:  541-766-4704
Fax:  541-757-5726
Address:  1555 SW 35th St., Corvallis, Oregon 97333
Staff:  Cindy Dagesse