Around this time of year, I start my animal research reports with my students. It takes them about 2 weeks of afternoons here and there to complete this project, and they absolutely LOVE IT! I'd like to share with you how I organize this.
- First, I give each student a manila folder to hold all their information. A regular folder will do.
- Second, I start collecting articles about the animal students chose. I know some teachers let their students search online, but I'm old school on this. I will google it - and print it for them. I like to see them read the papers and mark on the papers. Having a hard copy also always my whole class to work at the same time (I don't have enough computers). I usually start with Kids National Geographic and then google the terms "(Animal Name) facts for kids".
Sometimes the website will have a printer friendly link, but most of the time the website does not. If this is the case, I simply copy and paste what information I want onto a word document. I make sure to add the link, so students can cite the source.
- Third, students start collecting facts from their articles. I have a template that I have been using for 5 years now. It is broken down into the following sections:
- Special Features
- The fourth step is having students write one paragraph for each section. When they are done, they can't believe how beautiful it looks. Even your struggling writers will successfully have a multi-paragraph report.
- This last step is a bonus - I teach my students how to make a power point presentation using their notes. These students will have the option to present using their power points instead of just reading from their research report.
There you have it! A fun project to keep students learning :)