ZooPals Animal Reports

Friday, April 19, 2013

We finished our ZooPals Animal Reports today! These are my favorite reports to write because my kids do ALL of the work and they are so proud when they are finished. 
 Let me tell you there was a lot of training involved. We spent a week writing an animal report together our the desert tortoise. Click here to read all about it.

Here is a outline of how our Animal Reports went:

DAY 1
I made groups with 2-3 kids per group, I tried to mix ability levels so the groups would be more successful. To determine which animal each group got, we used these "Grow Capsules" that I found in the dollar bins at Target! 
(I gave one capsule to each group)
 Simply place the capsule in hot water and watch as the magic begins! 
(We only have access to cold water in our classroom so it took slightly longer for the magic to begin, but they kids were mesmerized and SILENT as they were watching and waiting...AHHH quiet time) 
Then...
So cute right?!
Then we wrote our planning page for our animal report. We did this whole group and students just changed the animal name to fit their report.
Page 1: What a __ looks like
Page 2: What a ___ eats
Page 3: Where a ___ lives
Page 4: Cool facts about ____.

DAY 2
Let the research begin! We began whole-group by reviewing the topic we choose on our planning sheet.
Each group was given 2 non-fiction books about their animal. They had to work together to write 3 facts about what their animal looks like. They did an amazing job of working together! 
Here is a sample of what the lion group wrote for page 1 (What a lion looks like)

DAYS 3 - 5
Research and writing days. Each day we began by reviewing the topic on the planning sheet and the kids got to work scouring their books for facts that fit the topic. 
 
 DAY 6
We spent day 6 editing and revising our reports. I met with each group that day to read and help them revise their reports. 

Day 7
Publishing and Presenting! 
I am a techie teacher and I try to get my students really excited about using technology. We went to the computer lab and typed our reports. It took a little time but the kids were so proud of themselves!
(WARNING: THIS IS NOT OUR FIRST TIME TYPING and this may set you over the edge if you don't have helpers). Having students work in their groups to type is also a great way to publish these reports. 
To be sure kids are engaged during their peers presentations, I have created a little Wild About Animal Reports Book that students complete while their peers are presenting. This just revised my ZooPals Packet on TpT to include this book. Please re-download if you already own this packet.  
The kids were little animal experts reporting their information to the class. It was AWESOME! Click on the picture below to get this packet! 

2014 Update: We took our projects one step further this year and created a large diagram for each animal. Here is the diagram and report that the giraffe, cheetah and elephant groups created. LOVE!  

12 comments:

Ms. W said...

Genius idea for using the grow capsules to assign their animals!

Sidenote - Kelly was telling us how cute your firsties were while typing their reports in the lab!
Upper Grades Are Awesome

MissSara2008 said...

I love the idea! That sounds like it would be so much fun for the children! =)


Sara
http://misssara2008.blogspot.com/

ehudson222 said...

Where did you buy the cute paper plates?

Zoe said...

Hi Angie!
Great project!
Where did you get the super cute animal plates?

Zoe
Oh-the-Little-Wonders

Anonymous said...

Where can I get these adorable plates?

Anonymous said...

You can get the cute animal plates at Wal-Mart, Dollar General, nd Family Dollar. I buy these cute plates for my daughter sometimes. :)

My Student Teaching Life said...

I love everything that you did for this project. Especially how the it was chosen which animals they were going to research. Also did the students create the diagrams of the animals themselves because they look amazing!

Lesley said...

Wow, Laetitia.....great ideas to keep little minds engaged throughout the process. What a neat idea to use the grow capsules.

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