Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Animal Experts... Research in a Primary Classroom

How many times do your kids do a research project during the school year?  With the new CC Standards, I think we are going to see more and more research projects being done in classes throughout the country more often.  This year in my room, we've done a number of research projects, including a U.S. Symbols Project, a Black History research project, and currently, an Animal Expert Project (This unit hopefully coming soon).  The kids l.o.v.e. these projects because they get to pick what they learn about.

To start our Animal Experts project, we previewed LOTS of books, this way, the kids don't choose just any ole animal.. Dogs= BORING... Cats=Snooze fest!!.. Porcupines?= Fabulous... Armadillo?=Wonderful!! My kids are researching animals and insects like a bee, an ant, a lady bug, a toucan, arctic fox, polar bear.  They are learning all about some animals they never even knew existed.  Oh, did I mention it goes with our science unit on Animals & Life Cycles??

Then, we used our non-fiction books and the computers to jot important notes about the animals appearance, diet, habitat, predators, life cycle, and fun facts.  Here's a little freebie for you...

To do some internet research, we used PebbleGo.. a seriously awesome website that is perfect for K-2 kiddos!

You need a subscription to use it, but they do offer a free 2 week trial if you want to check it out.  The site has great features, like videos, maps, and a read aloud option.  Here are my kids doing some computer research...


All of this took us just about a week (Choosing an Animal, Researching with Books, Researching Using Internet).. but we also have done a good number of research projects that we dont have to talk about what's important to stop & jot, what I expect etc. 

Now, we are beginning to write and this time I decided to give them the freedom to write their expert book in anyway they choose, as long as they included nonfiction text features, and some type of organization (which of course, I model, model, model)  I'm scared of what some kids may do, but others are already off to a great start..I'll just have to steer those other ones in the right direction.

When we're all done with our expert books, we are going to create and present powerpoint presentations about our animal!  They are so excited.  Keep a look out for that post coming in the next few weeks!

1 comment:

  1. me! I have a gift for your class!