Thursday, February 19, 2015

Animal Research Project

One of the kindergarten Common Core writing standards is to participate in shared research and writing projects (W.K.7) and to gather information from provided sources to answer a question in writing (W.K.8).  The perfect way to introduce these standards is with Tracy's Animal Wax Museum Project. 
Her packet is adorable and you can adjust it to make it work perfectly in a kindergarten classroom.  Before I start, I tell my students that we are going to start a group research project.  I explain to them what research means and how a group works together.  I then separate them into groups (giving each group one of my 'high' students so they have a reader/writer).  I let the groups discuss and vote on an animal that they would like to research.  This year the four groups came up with: sharks, polar bears, giraffes, and elephants.  I wrote their animal on the board along with the group member names (this was more for me, so I wouldn't forget). 
Then, we sat back down on the carpet and I showed them how we can do research on an iPad.  I went to Safari and showed them how to type in the search box (i.e. giraffe facts for kids).  I also showed them how to click on images in case they needed to draw their animal.  Believe it or not...I showed the kids one time and they already knew exactly what to do!
I also pulled books from our classroom library and our library at school on the different animals that the groups chose. This way they had different ways to find facts.
I printed a couple sheets from Tracy's pack and gave one sheet a day to the groups.  The first day they worked on their animals habitat.
The second day we worked on their diet.
After a couple of days of research we were ready to put our posters together.  I gave each group a piece of bulletin board paper (I even let them choose the color of paper to make sure that this research project was totally theirs!)
I gave each group some white computer paper and told them to make a title for their poster. Of course the girls all asked right away if they could make 'bubble letters' and for this project I let them ;)
They cut out and glued their title onto their posters.
Then the next step was to use construction paper to make their animal.  I LOVE kid art!
They glued all of their work onto their poster and then they were ready to present their information to the class.
They did such a great job presenting all of their facts and all of the other groups loved looking at their posters.
The kids had such a great time with the research project! I am going to come up with another one to do again soon! Maybe for weather...or space...we'll see! I'm looking forward to it and I know the kids are too!