Reviewed OER Library

<< Return to resource list

Researching to Deepen Understanding: Water References

Odell Education

View Resource


This resource was reviewed by OSPI in Spring 2015. Learn more about the review process and the data analysis approach.

The version reviewed was last updated: 1/23/2014.

Background from OER Project Review Team
Odell Education is an organization of educational specialists focusing their efforts on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. This unit is part of the Developing Core Proficiencies Curriculum funded by the USNY (New York) Regents Research Fund. This particular unit is focused on Researching to Deepen Understanding and is one of a four unit continuum that each highlight a core literary proficiency. This should factor into the viewer

EQuIP (Learn more)

Revision needed (7.3)
Chart with scale of 'meets criteria' from 0 (None) to 3 (All). Alignment: 2.0, Key Shifts in the CCSS: 1.75, Instructional Supports: 2.0, Assessment: 1.5.

Achieve OER (Learn more)

Chart with scale from 0 (Weak) to 3 (Superior). Explanation: 2.0, Interactivity: , Exercises: 1.75, Deeper Learning: 1.75.

See standard error chart for the review scoring

Reviewer Comments (Learn more)

Minor (2.0)

Strengths/Ideal Use:

For a teacher who is teaching the research model to students, this would be an ideal unit - especially for Social Studies teachers. Opportunities for conferring are embedded in the instructions for various lessons. There is a set of texts that include notes and text-based questions and are sequenced to tell in which parts of the unit to use each text.


  • Graphic organizers & checklists do not provide enough student writing space, and are too text dense. There are a lot of handouts/tools/checklists.
  • No specific Summative/Performance Task.


  • Organize resources by subsection so they are easier to access.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This may be a good resource for teaching Literacy in Science and Technical subjects or used as a research exploratory. The resource would require interaction with a teacher and students at grade level would most benefit.

Strengths include:

  • Research projects in all three text types (narrative, informational, and argumentative) are suggested - similar to the Smarter Balanced ELA performance task part 2.
  • A variety of informational texts are suggested - video, article, website, and visual.
  • Resource appropriately addresses researching to build and present knowledge - addresses W7.7 and most of W7.8 (does not provide instruction on following standard format for citation).


Lacking a variety of assessment modes. Assessment not necessarily tied to focus standards, no rubrics nor anchor sets.

Resource calls for annotation of texts with no examples of annotation. Resource calls for the annotation of a video. What would that look like?

There is no indication of how to differentiate for learners or differing abilities.

Texts and information on citation not included.


  • Add pre-assessment and self-assessment tied to focus standards. For formative and summative assessments, align more tightly with CCSS and provide rubrics measuring those standards.
  • Provide examples of annotated texts. Remove or better explain how one would annotate a video.
  • Provide recommendations in each task in each activity on how to extend and support the learning by modifying the content, process, or product. For the suggested texts, additional suggestions with both more and less text complexity could be included.
  • More information (URLs, publisher info) would support the teacher in finding the suggested texts. Actual lessons or activities on how to cite sources are needed.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This is a good unit for teaching research, and research writing. Great for a Science unit that incorporates ELA. I would use this.


  • Limited to research writing.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This would fit well in a social studies or possibly a science classroom. The teacher doesn't need much experience to teach the unit as the lessons are well written. Graphic organizers were scaffolded well. Lessons/Activities were well thought out and easy to understand. Text dependent questions were provided for every piece of text.


  • It seems like there is a lot of argumentative writing within this unit.
  • Many links were not functioning for me.

Creative Commons License
This work by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.