You deal with pests all the time. But how can you prevent them from taking over your home?

Assignment: Become a Pest Expert

Select a pest from any of the more than 20 animals featured in the Pest Research section. Then, follow our 10-step procedure for organizing and communicating your new knowledge.

In fact, why not share that information with others? At the end of this manual are a few ideas for how to share your new knowledge. Maybe you’ll want to publish a research report for your school library. Maybe you’d like to make a digital slideshow for a PTA meeting. Or maybe you’ll want to script a Public Service Announcement to broadcast during your school’s morning announcements.

No matter what project you’d like to do, you first need to do a little research and a bit of writing. Research writing may seem like a lot of work, but if you follow a few simple steps you’ll be amazed about how much you can learn.

You can also download the PestWorld for Kids Writing Manual to use offline.

Step 1: Getting Ready


Supplies:

To get started, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Computer with Internet connection
  • Several 3” x 5” index cards or copies of the note card template.
  • Writing paper
  • Paper clips to keep notes in stacks.
  • Rubber bands to keep stacks together.
  • Scissors (if you're using the note card template).
Next, Choose a Subject:

Subjects should be narrow. Instead of writing about all types of “pests”, think about a particular pest that you think people should learn about.

PestWorldforKids.org features over 20 different types of pest species for you to research.

Take a little time to browse through these pests to see which might interest you.

Then, when you have your subject, move on to step 2.


Click to move onto step 2

Notes for the Teacher

For students learning how to write, it’s often a hurdle to figure out how to organize information and to communicate in a clear, logical progression. PestWorldforKids.org developed this manual for teaching your students how to take and organize notes into a written research report.

Because there are many ways to communicate knowledge and it makes little sense to anyone to just write a report for the sake of writing a report, we’ve included several suggestions and templates for projects that provide students with ideas to use their report to inform their community about pests.

How to Use This Procedure and PestWorldforKids.org

A 10-step procedure for taking notes, organizing notes, and writing a research paper is presented in a “manual” form. The manual is written at a fifth grade level so older students may follow along independently or with a partner. Alternatively, you may use the manual as a script to directly teach the procedure to students of all ages. By the end of the ninth step, your students will have written and revised a multi-paragraph research paper, complete with an introduction and conclusion.

If your students have limited access to computers, you can download a PDF version for them to use:

www.pestworldforkids.org/reports-studentmanual.pdf

A complete multi-day lesson plan is available for you to download as well:

www.pestworldforkids.org/reports-teachermanual.pdf

Both versions contain a note-taking template that you and your students may photocopy. These have been found to work especially well on transparencies.

Correlations With the Standards

from the National Council of Teachers of English

Standard 1: Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts … to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

Students will use the PestWorldforKids.org Research Center to acquire new information about a specific pest.

Standard 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers…

Students are prompted to recall their prior knowledge as well as share their written work with other students to check for clarity.

Standard 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

The procedure used in the PestWorldforKids Research Manual invokes several elements of the writing process including pre-writing (recalling prior knowledge), drafting, revising and publishing.