For our research unit last spring, I had my students choose a narrow topic and create 7-10 solid research questions for that topic. We spent a great deal of time creating clear questions that readers would be interested in knowing the answers to. Once we had those questions in place, we conducted our research in the Library using a variety of databases that our Librarian showed us how to properly navigate.
With our research in hand, we headed back to the classroom to begin searching for the answers to our research questions. Once we began reading those articles, however, I found that many of my students wanted to give up. They quickly realized that reading these non-fiction texts was a lot of work. These articles were challenging and it took a lot of time to make sense of what they were reading. But it didn't have to be so overwhelming. To help them make sense of the articles they'd found, I taught them how to use some of the reading work we'd already done to help us build a new skill: paraphrasing.