Animal Research Reports

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hey All! 
We are working on Informative Writing and we are about to begin writing our Animal Research Reports! Before I let my students begin their report, we write an animal research report together from beginning to end so that I can model the steps to informative writing. 

Our whole-group research report is about desert tortoises because we have a desert tortoise as a class pet! 
Meet Shelldon! 
(For the record he has had that name long before the TV show The Big Bang started)
Shelldon became part of my class about four years ago. A former family called and asked if I was interested in adopting him because they were moving and needed to find him a new home. FYI a tortoise is a GREAT classroom pet, they are super low maintenance,  and the kids LOVE him! 

I went to the library and found several easy-read non-fiction book about Desert Tortoises.
(Desert Tortoises by Christopher Blomquist, Desert Tortoises by Sophia Lockwood and Desert Tortoises by Elizabeth Thomas)

We brainstormed the topics we would like to research and wrote them on our planning sheet. We decided to write about:
  • what a tortoise looks like
  • what a tortoise eats
  • where a tortoise lives
  • cool facts about the desert tortoise
Each day we read through our non-fiction text looking for facts that fit our topic. The kids did a great job. We tackled one page a day so we spent about one week researching and writing. 
Page 1 - A desert tortoise has a hard shell that covers its body. Their back legs look like little elephant feel. An adult tortoise is nine to fifteen inches long. 
Page 2 - A desert tortoise is a herbivore. They eat cactus, wildflowers and dried plants. They get water from the plants they eat.
 Page 3 - A tortoise lives on land. They dig burrows to stay cool. Desert tortoises live in Arizona, California and Mexico.
Page 4 - Desert tortoises live up to 100 years. They are in danger of dying out so laws protect them. A hatchling is about 2 inches long.
I wanted my students to get the FULL report writing experience so we did revisions then "published" our report by typing it in the computer lab! 
(I love technology and try to incorporate it whenever possible, this was NOT my students first experience using Microsoft Word) It took a little time and patience when they typed their report but they were so incredibly proud of themselves when they finished.
We made this cute little tortoise art project by painting a bowl brown and gluing on tissue paper.
Next week, my students are going to work with a partner to write their own Animal Research Report! We are going to use my Animal Research Report with Hefty ZooPals packet! I will be back to let you know how it goes! 

I shared this post at Critters In the Classroom! What a cute blog! 


Michelle Blair said...

Your blog is AMAZING! :) So much attention to detail. Do you happen to have the PDF of the zoo animal research project template? TPT is presently blocked at our school! I have to do this with my kids, it's so cute! Thank you tons!

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