SOS: Collaborative Reports

Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

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SOS Big Idea

Gathering facts and information isn’t enough. In order to be prepared for college and careers, students need to be able to clearly and cohesively analyze and explain what they’ve learned. One vehicle for doing this is report writing. When students begin learning about writing reports, however, it is common for them to copy and paste directly from the source rather than formulating ideas in their own words. The Collaborative Reports strategy helps students overcome this tendency by working with a partner and using a Web 2.0 tool to collect and share information with classmates.

SOS Steps

Materials: resources on topic to be researched (could be video, audio, and/or text), device with Internet access for each small group, writing utensils, scissors

Teacher Prep: Go to and set up a “room” where students will share their information. (You can also set up a free account that will help you keep track of all of the TodaysMeet conversations your students have.)


  1. Ask students to navigate to the TodaysMeet room you have set up. The URL should be
  2. Have students use their group number or name as the nickname in TodaysMeet. (In this example, students are participating as a specific Greek God or Goddess.)
  3. Demonstrate how students will use the “Talk” dialogue box to share different facts and information about the topic they are researching.
  4. Give students time to work together to read, listen to, or watch the resources that you’ve provided for them. Each time they identify an important piece of information about the topic, have them record it in the TodaysMeet “Talk” dialogue box and click “Say” to contribute that information to the topic.
  5. When students are finished gathering facts and information, open the transcript of the conversation (available from the teacher login).
  6. Print copies of the transcript for students.
  7. Ask students to cut the transcript into strips and then organize the individual strips into categories or groups.
  8. Have students finish up by working individually or in small groups to write cohesive paragraphs based on the strips they have arranged.

SOS Sum It Up

This strategy encourages students to contribute to group research and conversation. The results will be a cohesive, original paragraphs created by students groups. Here’s what it might look like:




Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 4.58.42 PM

SOS More Ideas

Use this strategy to give students hands-on experience with organizing individual bits of information into groupings that can easily be developed into cohesive paragraphs.

Have students use information to write compare/contrast paragraphs. In the example described above, students could select two of the Greek Gods and Goddesses and compare/contrast them.



Special Thanks:

This strategy is courtesy of 5th Grade Gifted teacher Cathy Bell from Albuquerque, NM.


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