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Endangered Animals Podcast


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Keywords: Report Writing, Podcast, Endangered Animals, Fluency, Save the Animals, Writing, Science, Life Science
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Life Science, Podcasting, Technology, Science
Grades 3 through 5
School: Norman R Kelley Interm Sch, Newark, NY
Planned By: Jennifer Lincoln
Original Author: Jennifer Lincoln, Newark
NYS Science Standards:
3.1c In order to survive in their environment, plants and animals must be adapted to
that environment.
6.1f When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.
7.1b Over time humans have changed their environment by cultivating crops and raising animals, creating shelter, using energy, manufacturing goods, developing means of transportation, changing populations, and carrying out other activities.
7.1c Humans, as individuals or communities, change environments in ways that can be either helpful or harmful for themselves and other organisms.

NYS English Language Arts Standards:
Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.
Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.
Students will use oral and written language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.

Objectives:
1. Students will be able to search the web for information about endangered animals.
2. Students will learn that many living animals are endangered or extinct.
3. Students will select one animal that is endangered to research.
4. Students will be able to state reasons why the animal they selected is becoming extinct.
5. Students will be able to type a report on Microsoft Word about what they have learned about the endangered animal of their choice.
6. Students will practice reading their report to improve fluency.
7. Students will record their reading of their report into an MP3 player.
8. Students will edit their recording and add music or sounds.
9. Students will upload their recording to a podcast for other people to hear.

Prior Knowledge:
Keyboarding
Experience using Microsoft Word
Experience using Internet Explorer to do research

Materials:
Computers
Microsoft Office
Internet Access
MP3 Players
Podcast Software

Sequence of Activities:

Introduction to Students:
Show students pictures of animals that are now extinct. Have students think-pair-share why these animals are now extinct. Is there something we can do to prevent more animals from becoming extinct? One way to reach millions of people and persuade them to help us in saving our endangered animals is to upload podcasts to the internet but first we’ll need to do some research.

Task:
Choose an endangered animal and find websites that provide information about your animal to help you write a report using Microsoft Word.

Your report should include:

~ The name of the endangered animal you choose.
~ Why did you choose that animal?
~ What does it look like?
~ Where does it live?
~ What does it eat? Do other animals eat it?
~ What adaptations does it have for survival? (camouflage, hibernation, defense mechanisms, migration, etc..)
~ How do you know this animal is endangered? How many are left?
~ Why is this animal endangered?
~ Why should other people care?
~ What is being done to save your Animal?
~ What can be done to help?
~ A list of all the websites used.

After the report has been edited and revised students will practice reading their report until they can read it fluently using great expression, intonation, and at an appropriate pace..

Then students will record themselves reading their report with MP3 players. Students can play back the recording. If they don't like it they can record it again. This repeated reading will improve their reading and speaking skills greatly.

Students will use software to edit their recording and add music or sounds.

The recordings will then be uploaded to a podcast to inform other people about these endangered animals and to persuade them to help us save them.

Assessment:
Creating a podcast allows students to share learning experiences. It provides them with a world-wide audience that makes learning meaningful and assessment authentic. In the classroom, students can present their podcast to their classmates. After each student is finished, ask questions to see if the students understand endangered species to assess how much they have learned for science. For writing, their report will be checked by the teacher for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and content. How well they read fluently while recording their report will be assessed for reading. For technology, it is possible to assess their ability to properly use the internet for research, Microsoft Word to type their report, the MP3 player to record their reading of the report, and the use of podcast software to edit their recording and upload it to the internet.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson combines reading, writing, science, and technology.

To tie in math students can create a bar graph of how many of each endangered animals are left to see which animals there are the most of and which animals there are the least of.
Follow-Up
Students can share their reports with another class or advertise the podcast to the whole school and community.
Students can create posters persuading people to save the endangered animals by visiting their podcast.
Links: Kids Planet Fact Sheets on Over 50 Species
World Wildlife Fund
Kid Info Links to Endangered Animals Sites
Endangered Species Kids Corner
U.S. FIsh and Wildlife Endangered Species Kids Corner
Materials: Headsets, MP3 Players, Podcasting