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A Zoo Book for All

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Keywords: digital cameras, zoo book, research reports, digital cameras, zoo book, research reports
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Journalism, Science, Photography, Life Science, Writing, Early Learning, Technology, Social Skills, Art
Grades 1 through 3
School: John K Hubbard Elem School, Noble, OK
Planned By: Shea Webster
Original Author: Shea Webster, Noble
Lesson Summary: The purpose of this lesson is for my students to be able to research information about animals and communicate in written form using the Four Stages of Writing. Students will work in small groups and take pictures of animals when we take a field trip to our local zoo (Little River Zoo). They will then research and write small descriptions about two animals they saw at the zoo. Finally, they will use Tool Factory Workshop and MultiMedia Lab V to create two pages for our class book and a presentation for our Friday Morning Assembly.

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate proper care of the digital camera’s hardware and software
Operate a digital camera
Locate their animal on the internet, encyclopedia, or nonfiction book
Identify the Four Stages of Writing
Write a description about two animals
Publish, organize and format two pages in a class book
Make a mock-up of the way the text and artwork will relate to each other in our finished book

Every year I do a three week unit on animals. I thought this would be a great way for my students to learn more about animals.

Day One:
The students will read the chapter in their science book about animals which will lead to a discussion about how each animal has a habitat, the size of animals, feeding habits, offspring, lifespan, and any interesting facts about animals. They will learn how to operate the cameras and each student will practice taking two pictures of items in our classroom.

Day Two:
Students will take a field trip to our local zoo, Little River Zoo. This zoo has around one hundred different animals, so there are a variety of animals for the students to choose from. At the zoo students will work in small groups with one adult and take pictures of two animals. If a group chooses the same animal they will decide who has to find another animal.

Day Three:
Students will return to their small groups and research their animals by printing off information from the internet and checking out books from our school library. The students will then do a prewriting activity by writing information about their animal’s habitat, size of animal, feeding habits, offspring, lifespan, and any interesting facts.

Day Four:
The students will write a rough draft and edit their short descriptions about their zoo animals.

Now for the Fun Part

Day Five:
Students will complete tutorials for Tool Factory Workshop’s paint program in our school’s computer lab.

Day Six and Day Seven:
Students will import their pictures into Tool Factory Workshop’s paint program and create their pages for the book. They may add a background color, flip the image, draw or paint their animals’ habitat, add shapes to their animals’ habitat, and color the shapes. They will insert a text box where they want to type their descriptions.

Day Eight:
Students will type their descriptions for their animals, proofread them. and print them out on 8 ˝ X 11 art quality paper.

Day Nine:
As a whole group activity my students will complete a cover, title page, and author page using Tool Factory Workshop’s paint program on our SMART Board. They will then print these out on 8 ˝ X 11 art quality paper. The students will make a mock-up of the way the text and artwork will relate to each other in our finished book. This mock-up will be bound and mailed to Scholastic for their yearly Kids are Authors contest. If we do not win this contest, I will send these to Fleet Publishing Company so that each child will get a copy of this book.

Follow Up Activities

Day Ten:
The students will complete MultiMedia Lab V tutorial.

The students will use MultiMedia Lab V and create an animal montage from the pictures they took for our Friday Morning Assembly. They will also create a pictograph using Tool Factory Workshop’s database and our SMART Board of their animals’ habitat. The title of this graph will be Where our Animals Live. This will be today’s math lesson.

Some additional extended instructional methods I will use to implement digital cameras include whole group activities, flexible grouping, cooperative learning, SMART Board activities, and centers. For example, one group activity that my students will do is to take a picture of each individual step when subtracting two-digit numbers with regrouping, helping them upload them on a computer, and placing the pictures in the SMART Board gallery. Then my students will have pictures every time we subtract two-digit numbers with regrouping.

These cameras will provide a positive impact on my students’ learning by incorporating technology into my current curriculum and engaging my students in meaningful educational experiences. I want all of my students to grow into life long learners, who are able to make meaningful connections between skills learned and real world applications. To achieve my goal, my students must have the opportunity to participate in investigative learning and to construct their own scaffold for learning.

Using a digital camera in the classroom will meet the needs of different learning styles by offering my students an opportunity to work in different modalities. The kinesthetic learners will succeed by physically processing information through manipulating the camera and the manipulation of selected activities. The auditory learners will experience success by hearing the discussions that relate to the variety of activities. The visual learners will succeed best by associating pictures with words, seeing words, following written directions, and visualization. Students therefore will have an increased opportunity to integrate all sensory modalities into the learning process, as well as, internalizing, understanding, and increasing their likelihood of success through interaction and communication with fellow students.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Language – The students will write their descriptions using the Four Stages of writing.

Reading - The students will read information and comprehend what they are reading to gather information about their animals

Math - The students create pictographs of the information they collected about their animals’ habitat.

Social Studies - The students will locate where their animals originated on a world map and color these countries on their world map.

Spelling – The students’ spelling words for this unit will be words selected from this animal unit. I have a program that creates unscramble worksheets and word searches so the students will complete these as well.
The books that we publish will also be donated to all our elementary schools' library and local public library.
Links: Noble Public Schools
Materials: Slideshow, Database, Word Processor, Camera Bags, Point and Shoot
Other Items: 5 Olympus Point and Shoot Cameras @ $200, $1000 each, total of $5000.00
1 Tool Factory Workshop Deluxe 10 pack, $1449.75 each, total of $1449.75
23 Fleet Publishing Company 23 books at 12.00, $276.00 each, total of $6348.00
1 MultiMedia Lab V, $499.75 each, total of $499.75
1 Tool Factory Workshop Deluxe 10 pack, $1449.75 each, total of $1449.75
1 MultiMedia Lab V, $499.75 each, total of $499.75
5 Olympus Point and Shoot Cameras @ $200, $1000 each, total of $5000.00
23 Fleet Publishing Company 23 books at 12.00, $276.00 each, total of $6348.00