***Almost all of the work and writing is done IN CLASS. Just the publishing part of the research project is completed at home. Cooperative group learning, where students research together about the same animal, is encouraged!
***Writing and researching mini-lessons are taught throughout the process.
How to choose a just right animal
How to conduct research using various sources
How to correctly quote the text using a variety of different sources
How to collect and organize information
How to determine important facts and information***We celebrate with an Animal Expert Extravaganza when we are ready to present! Scroll down the screen if you can’t wait to see this part of it!
Let’s get started! One of the first mini-lessons I taught was about choosing a just right animal. A just right animal is an animal that you are interested in learning more about but you don’t really know too much about them already. We filled out a graphic organizer that helped us think about what we already knew about our animal.
We then were ready to search for sources!!! I taught my students that there are MANY different sources to use to find information and facts about their animal.
Our sources sheet:
I gathered ALL the animal sources I could get my hands on!!!
Magazines, encyclopedias, non-fiction books oh my!!! Do you have parent volunteers in your classroom?? Ask for their help! Ask them to help you check out some books at the library and bring them to school for your students!
Students are then ready to begin their first draft and incorporate the mini-lessons that were taught in their writing.
When students were ready, they edited their own paper with a red pen so I could see the corrections they did (and did not!) make.
When the students finished their first draft and self-edited their paper, it was time to peer edit!
The animal expert reads their paper aloud and their peer listens and fills out the editing checklist.
After all those steps, students are finally ready to sign up for a conference with the teacher!
Depending on the needs of your students, you may spend 2-5 minutes working with each child.
Finally, they are ready to publish! It is only at this stage of the project that I let them bring home everything so they can finish and come up with a creative way to publish their writing.
The best part about the research projects????
Our Animal Expert Extravaganza! We just had ours today and the experts did a great job!!!
Spending a few bucks at Walmart will make a memorable learning experience for your students! Here’s what I had set up when the experts walked in:
Stuffed animals (thank you Nicole!) and animal print galore, along with a jungle themed tablecloth.
After your students finish their presentation, I'm sure they will be pretty parched. Good thing you'll have some Juice from the Jungle for the animal experts! I know it sure looks like jungle juice but it is just $1.00 ginger ale from Walmart!!!
Do you know what would taste just delicious with the Jungle Juice? Animal Crackers! How can you resist getting animal crackers for the animal experts?? Only $2.00 for a HUGE bag at Walmart.
Before the experts began their presentations, these students used colored chalk to make a background on the black butcher paper. Students then signed up in the order they would present.
Animal Experts began their presentations with props galore!
See those yellow sheets of paper? As the students were giving their presentations (each expert was given a 2 minute time limit), the audience members were filling out comment cards! This was a great way to keep the audience engaged and accountable during all the presentations. Each audience member was assigned to fill out a comment card for about 4 animal experts.
The teacher stays busy too during the animal expert presentations! I was busy (drinking my coffee) and taking notes about the presenter using a rubric.
Here is a look at the finished projects:
When you hear your students say, “I didn’t know research could be so much fun” and “I like finding facts about my animal” and “This is so cool!” when they walk into the classroom on the day of the Extravaganza…you know you did something right!
Interested in buying the file on TpT? Click on the link below:
Animal Experts: Animal Research Projects
Also, for all those who already purchased the file on TpT, (thank you!!!!) I added the Animal Expert Extravaganza, which is shown below. Please redownload the file for the Extravaganza!
Have a great night!