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Animal Ambassadors


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Keywords: animals, pets, science, class books, research, reader's theater
Subject(s): Art, Social Studies, Video, Social Skills, Spelling, Technology, Geography, Early Learning, Grammar, Science, Life Science, Writing, Drama, Speech and Language, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades K through 1
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
View Full Text of Standards
School: Roy Allen Elementary School, Melbourne, FL
Planned By: Linda Carman
Original Author: Linda Carman, Melbourne
Common Core Standards to be addressed:
1. Use writing and drawing to compose informative text and supply information on the topic.
2. Participate in shared research and writing projects.
3. Use a variety of digital tools to promote and publish writing in collaboration with peers.
4. Actively engage in reading activities with purpose and understanding.
5. observe animals and their habitats and be able to describe how they are alike and different.

Objectives:
The students will learn how to use a variety of digital tools to research animals and make final projects in the form of videos and class books.
The students will research, build and keep up habitats of 4 different types of animals.
the students will discover through observations and research the behaviors of living things in their natural habitat.
The students will use age appropriate non-fiction material as informational text.

Lesson Plan:
Since this is a yearlong project it would be difficult to detail every activity that will be used. I will be breaking this project up into sections and teach as units such as insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish. Each unit will take several months to complete.
I will start the unit with a "grabber" by letting the students know we will have lots of animal visitors/pets in our classroom this year as we study and learn. We will have 1 animal from each category as a class pet during the school year. We will start by finding out what everyone's favorite animals are. We will make a graph of the animals types each student likes and dislikes and have a group discussion and compare results.
I will need a large selection of non-fiction material for students to research, read and learn about these animals. We will use reading materials as well as computers, I pad and tablets to read both grade level readers and teacher read material to gain information.
Students will plan and carry out the perfect habitat for each animal we are focusing on after learning the animal's needs.
Students will keep an observation and research log to refer to when doing group projects.
Projects in each unit will include group posters about animals, class books with photos, dioramas, murals, and video of reader's theater to share with other classes.
Students from other classes will be invited in throughout the year and my students will teach others with presentations of their work.

Evaluation:
1. I will view student's predictions and observations in science logs periodically.
2. Class participation in group readings and research activities will be monitored.
3. Group projects of posters, writings, books, dioramas, murals, reader theater, and presentations to other classes will be evaluated based on teacher made rubrics.
Comments
I am lucky enough to have a classroom pet for each unit but we do not have a non-fiction library or technology in our classes to carry out my lesson plans.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
By teaching these units of study in great detail I am covering all subject areas except math.
Materials: Video Cameras, Flip Video, Digital Cameras, Wacom Tablets, Pen Readers, CDs and DVDs, Printers, Flash/USB Drives, Reading, Literacy, Elementary, Books, Video Tools, Early Learning