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Capturing Animals through Technology

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Keywords: animal research, Digital report projects
Subject(s): Information Skills, Writing, Life Science, Technology
Grades 2 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Saluda River Academy for the Arts, West Columbia, SC
Planned By: Melissa Drew
Original Author: Melissa Drew, West Columbia
Capturing Animals with Technology
Description: Students will research a chosen animal, complete a graphic organizer online, write a report using a word processor, then create a technology-based project on the animal. Each student’s project will be saved to class file and presented to the class. All projects will be downloaded to a DVD. Each student will receive a copy of the DVD.
Time: 8 – 10 45-minute sessions, depending on the ability levels of your students
Language Arts Standards
Standard 2-2 The student will read and comprehend a variety of informational texts in print and nonprint formats.
Standard 2-4 The student will create written work that has a clear focus, sufficient detail, coherent
organization, effective use of voice, and correct use of the conventions of written Standard
American English.
Standard 2-5 The student will write for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Standard 2-6 The student will access and use information from a variety of sources.
Science Standards
Standard 2-6 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the needs and characteristics of animals as they
interact in their own distinct environments. (Life Science)
2-2.1 Recall the basic needs of animals (including air, water, food, and shelter) for energy, growth, and
2-2.2 Classify animals (including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and insects) according to their physical characteristics.
2-2.3 Explain how distinct environments throughout the world support the life of different types of animals.
2-2.4 Summarize the interdependence between animals and plants as sources of food and shelter.
2-2.5 Illustrate the various life cycles of animals (including birth and the stages of development)

The students will:
(1) pose questions.
(2) participate in research, documenting and recording factual discoveries on an interactive graphic organizer.
(3) share findings through a technology-based product.
Advance Preparations
• Gather non-fiction books, magazines that contain information on animals.
• On computer(s), bookmark appropriate websites for students to locate information, or make a printed list available for students
• Create a pdf. graphic organizer that students can edit and complete online. Save in a folder accessible to all computers being used.
• Create and save an “Animal” wordle ( www.wordle.net )
• Create or download examples of technology projects ( www.photostory.com , http://animato.com/education , http://voicethread.com , http://blabberize.com , www.wordle.net , http://picasa.google.com )
Materials, Equipment, Supplies
• Interactive white board with projector and computer
• Student computers (classroom or media center) connected to internet
• Classroom or media center collection of books and other print about animals
• Digital camera(s) for pictures/movies
• ipods
• Blank DVDs for publishing student projects
Day 1 Introduction
• Present on the SMART Board an Animal Wordle (www. wordle.net) to the students and have them predict what topic they will be studying.
• Have students brainstorm a list of questions they want to explore to learn more about animals. Record questions on a chart.
Day 2-3 Model Research (If you have previously done a research project this school year, you may skip this process or simply review the process and move to independent research.)
Day 2
• As a class, choose one animal to study.
• Review the list of questions from day 1. And have students determine if there are any questions they want to add, delete, or modify.
• Go to the interactive graphic organizer on the SMART Board and explain it to the students. You may edit the organizer to better fit the questions you want answered.
• Using information from books, websites, videos, etc., demonstrate how to answer the questions on the graphic organizer.
Day 3
• Review recorded information. Is there any information still needed for any of the questions? Is there additional information you want to look for? Is there information you want to delete? Is there something that doesn’t fit? Are there any contradictions?
• Make revisions/corrections as needed. Explain to students that the graphic organizer will be used to provide information to write a report and complete a technology-based publication.
Day 4-10 Independent Research
Day 4
• In the media center or classroom, allow students to look through available books, magazines, websites, etc. and choose an animal they would like to explore.
• At individual computers, students should go to the interactive graphic organizer and begin entering information. When completed, the graphic organizer should be printed for use in the writing process.
Days 5-6
• Students compose a written report on their animals.
Day 7
• Show students examples of different types of projects they can produce to complete their animal explorations. (Photo Story, storybook, video created from pictures, multimedia slide show, wordle, podcast, collage)
Days 8-10
• Students create technology projects on their animals.
• Students present technology projects to peers.

CapturingAnimals Graphic Organizer

Name of animal: ________________________
What does your animal look like? Where does your animal live?

What does your animal eat? Interesting facts about your animal:

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
These items may also be used in other subject areas, such as socail studies, reading, and math, and can be utilized in our performing arts classes (dance, theater, chorus).
Materials: Tripods, CDs and DVDs, Point and Shoot, Flip Video