I am so excited to announce that I participated in my first product swap!! Here is how it works: I partnered up with Karen Rowland over at Adventures with Firsties and we swapped products! I was lucky enough to try out her Safari Animals Research pack! Click on the picture for the link!
So here is what we did:
(prepare for lots of pictures!)
First, I scrounged the school library for as many books on animals as I could find! Unfortunately, we have an old school and therefore some old books, but we found some interesting ones.
Then, I gave my students the opportunity to explore the books. My kids sit in groups so I placed a few books with each group and then we swapped so that everyone had a chance to look at all of the books. The kids really enjoyed this part because they got to explore nonfiction books that they had not seen before. And they loved the pictures!
Then my kids chose 3 animals that they would be interested in studying. The animals included in the pack are elephants, monkeys, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, hippos, lions, and tigers. Our library didn't have any age level appropriate books on tigers and lions, so I didn't give those as an option this time. They had the other six animals to choose from. Then I placed them into groups of three students and assigned each group to one animal (they got to study one of their three choices).
This is the first research project that my firsties have done, so I allowed them to do all of the research part within their groups. I put together the research packet for each student and gave them some books to look through as well. My favorite part of this research pack was the fact page that came with each animal. It was such an easy way for the kids to find information about their animal! And it was something that they could read with little difficulty! Here are some great pictures of the kids doing their research! We completed 1-2 pages each day.
Here are my kiddos reading through their fact pages! Lots of great information here!
This page is a cloze activity that goes along with the fact page. It gets the kids thinking about what they have just read!
These are diagrams for students to label their animals.
This was another of my favorite pages!! This is a can/have/are chart. I liked this page because it really made my kids think. They had to really think about everything that they had learned about the animal in order to fill out the chart. The fact page really helped my students with this one!
This web was great for the kids to organize their facts. They chose 6 interesting facts to put onto their web ("They have eyes." was not allowed! lol)
This page was fun too. The kids had to think of ways that they are similar to and different from their animal. This became a big discussion of what a mammal is and whether or not we are mammals! They loved writing this as a similarity. And of course, they liked learning that they were omnivores and discovering whether that was a similarity or a difference. I think it made them feel very smart to use such big words!
Before writing out our paper, we used this chart to help us organize our information. The kids had to write a topic sentence, 6 facts, and a closing sentence. We discussed the difference between a fact and an opinion. I allowed them to make their closing sentence an opinion but everything else had to be a fact. This chart made it very easy for them once it was time to write their report!
Here are some pictures of them transferring their information from their graphic organizer to their report. They did such a good job! (so proud)
Once they finished writing their report, I let them color a picture of their animal (also included in this packet) to use as a cover sheet. Here are some finished products!
The kids did such a good job on their animal reports! I am so proud of the great writing they did. The layout of this pack helped to keep my kids so organized and really showed them how to organize their facts! And there are several pages in here that we didn't even get to!
If you are looking for a great research project for your firsties, I definitely recommend you heading over to Karen's TPT store and picking this one up! She also has one on Woodland Animals that she has recently done with her class. You can see great pictures of her class working on the Woodland Animals project at her blog! Just click on her button below!
To see all of the other great products in the swap, you can head over to Jessica Stanford's blog at Mrs. Stanford's Class!