Can second graders really understand plagiarism and learn how to paraphrase in their own words? After reading several pages in the children's All About Books, we noticed that some of the language did not sound like our students' voices. The children are so engaged in this project and we do not want to stifle their momentum. However, we also don't want to encourage them to copy from the texts they are researching. For second graders, research is a new idea. It's especially difficult to write down factual information without copying. There's only so many ways to say that the Earth is 93 million miles away from the sun. Learning to paraphrase and state the main idea is a part of our reading
curriculum and this is a good time to reinforce and practice this
strategy. It's not a strategy my students are expected to master in
second grade, but one they will practice throughout their lower school
years. We discussed the idea of plagiarism with our students. As teachers, we are always learning how to teach more effectively and to revise, rethink our lessons. We will encourage the children to read for information, then put their books away and write down what they remember. Next time, we'll also make sure that the children choose topics they already know a lot about!