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Keywords: All about, Writing Workshop, Animals, Non-fiction
Subject(s): Science, Writing
Grades 1 through 2
NETS-S Standard:
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School, skokie, IL
Planned By: Sarah Weinstein
Original Author: Sarah Weinstein, skokie
Concepts:
-Writers write non-fiction books to tell their readers about a subject.
-Writers use mentor texts to study the craft of non-fiction.
-Writers use nonfiction text features in their writing.
-Writers conduct research through books and technology in order to learn more about a topic and validate their facts.

Common Core State Standards:
-CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.2
-CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.7
-CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.8
-CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.1
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Materials:
-Researchrecording paper
-Colored Pencils
-Computer/tablet with internet access


Students will be given 6 animals to research in order to craft an "All About" non-fiction piece. They will choose between frog, rabbit, bear, kangaroo, lion, and elephant. After students have gotten their research topic, they will begin seeking information on that animal, using an Android Tablet. Students will have the choice to use a few websites to conduct their research. In pairs or individually, children will use "Kidtopia", "Kids.Yahoo.Com" or "SweetSearch."

Ask students, "what is research?" Students should respond by telling you it's something you do when you're studying a topic. Maybe they will say a scientist does research to figure out experiments, or a doctor does research on medicine to make people feel better. Tell students that in the next few days of class, WE will be researchers to try to become experts on one topic. Say, "For this Writing Workshop unit, we are going to be studying animals! After we find out our animal we are going to research using the Internet. The internet helps us find out real facts about our animals, so that we know are books are true. First Graders know that all non-fiction books have true facts!" Tell students which animal they will be researching and explain to them the three websites. Briefly go over each website on the Smartboard so children can easily see how to navigate each site. Tell them they can start on one site and move to another if they would like to try them all out. Have the website address easily accessible on both a piece of paper for students to keep and on the Smartboard in order for correct spelling and prompt research to begin. With their research, students will be given a piece of paper to record and remember the facts they have found. They will write the name of their topic on the front, and for each fact they record in their own words, they will circle from which search engine they used and what keyword they typed in. Explain that this is done in order for someone to check their facts and make sure they are all real and true. Tell them they should have at least one fact on where the animal typically lives, what is eats, and what it looks like. They will also be drawing a diagram, a nonfiction text-feature, at the end of their books.

Students will research for 2-3 days, depending on how much research they get done each day. Check students sheets to make sure they have at least one fact on each area. After 2-3 days of research, students will begin writing their books with 5 chapters, "Where it Lives" "What it Eats" "What it Looks Like" "Other Interesting Facts" and "Diagram." Students will use their time to Writing Workshop (about 3-4 weeks) to complete these books. They will then go through the publishing process, which consists of revising, editing, and publishing their stories for all to see.

The use of the internet, specifically a tablet, is essential in the research process. As our school library has limited access to animal books appropriate for First Graders, the internet offers endless information.
Comments
We have a Smartboard with projector screen in order to first show kids the researching websites and model for them how to use it.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This would tie in with science, the study of animals and the different habitats they live in.
Follow-Up
There will be about 3-4 weeks of continted writing on their researched topics.
Links: Link to Kidtopia
Link to Yahoo kids
Link to SweetSearch
Materials: Mobile Labs, Projector Screens, Printers, Keyboards, Headsets, Mice, Writing, Books, Authoring and Publishing, Worksheets, Student Resources