Lesson: Animal Reports

Author: Marc Sheehan

Subjects: Science, Writing, Research Skills

Instructional Level: Fourth-Sixth

Skills: Utilizing techology to complete a project, Writing, Research

Time: Three Weeks In Total

Materials/Necessary Tools: Computers, internet access, journals for note-taking, writing utensils, poster boards, printer paper, colored pencils, markers, crayons

The student will utilize technology to conduct research on a given topic.
The student will be able to synthesize research to create a project using grade-level written work.
The student will be able to cite a research source.

Introduction: This report would likely be the capstone project of a life sciences unit on animals. Students would be instructed to compose a list of animals they would like to research and then choose one for this project.

Procedure: The students will be given the following instructions and requirements: They will complete a report on an animal of their choice. They will need to include the following information about their animal:
What species is it from.
What type of habitat it lives in.
The location of that habitat.
The size of the animal in height and weight.
The diet of the animal.
The typical lifespan of the animal.
How often and how many young the animal can produce.
Any other interesting facts about the animal.

The students will compose a report of at least two paragraphs and include a research source using EasyBib. The report will be attached to a posterboard provided to the student. The poster will include at least one image of the chosen animal. The posters will be showcased inside and outside of the classroom.
The project timeline will stretch over three weeks and require some class periods for research and production of the reports and posters. Students will be also urged to work on the project outside of class so they can get everything done well and on time.

Closure/Modifications: The students will have the opportunity to share their projects in class. The assignment could be modified in terms of length, either in number of paragraphs, facts, or sentences. Students could have their work scribed for them if necessary. Students could focus on getting their ideas written down, while the teacher or someone provides assistance on editing those ideas. The students could also be given ideas to use to better focus their research.

Assessment: Each project will be graded on completeness (i.e. whether it meets the requirements); on the use of grade-level writing skills in spelling, grammar, and composition; and quality of the project -- Is it informative? Is it interesting? Is it legible? Is it done with appropriate writing and images? Was the research source cited correctly?

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