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Digital Research Animal Project

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Keywords: Animals, Trading Card Project, Research
Subject(s): Reading, Writing, Science, Grammar
Grades 1 through 2
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Digital Citizenship
View Full Text of Standards
School: Park Elementary School, Marinette, WI
Planned By: Elizabeth Mylener
Original Author: Elizabeth Mylener, Marinette
Type of Lesson:

Continues development

Big Idea or Essential Question
Students will create a research project using the Trading Cards App on an animal of choice.

Learning Target /Objective(s)
Students will research an animal of choice and discover new characteristics of that animal.
Students will use technology to produce their final project.
Students will present their final project to a small group of classmates.

* Number of characteristics is differentiated based on students needs.
WI/CCSS & NETS-S Standards
Use Common Core State Standards/Wisconsin Model Academic Standard(s) or Early Learning Standard (EC majors). Wisconsin DPI website: http://dpi.wi.gov/standards/stds.html

guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
Participate in shared research and writing projects.


Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.


Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence (e.g., first word, capitalization, ending punctuation).


Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

3.Research and information fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

a. Plan strategies to guide inquiry

Academic Language/Vocabulary for this lesson (define)
What key vocabulary (content-specific terms) do you need to teach?
What do you, as the teacher, know about the concepts/topic/etc.? What background knowledge/information do you, as the teacher, need to know in order to teach this lesson and meet your objectives?
Where did you find this information? (List specific resources)
Research: The collection of information
Characteristics: A quality of trait that makes something different from others
Non-fiction: A book that is real

Introduce many new non-fiction books of animals that will strike the interest of students.

As a teacher you may choose any type of animal you would like to introduce and model assignment to your students.

As a teacher you need prior experience using iPads, computers, chromebooks and the app Trading Cards.

Pre level the nonfiction books so students can easily find a book at their ability.
Have choices for the students to find their information on their animal.
National Geographic Magazines
iPads on Kid’s Planet and Science Kids webpages

Lesson Rationale
This lesson will take place during our science time as well as our writing block.

Students will also be able to continue working on their trading card during their writing round of Daily 5.

I am teaching this lesson to inform students of how to create a project based off of their learning. I will show students how there is a variety of ways to teach others about your learning, this being one of them.

This lesson fits into the standards of having students use technology to publish writing by using research.
Student prior knowledge and prior thinking (include student misconceptions about what will be taught):
What prior knowledge will the students need in order to learn the concept that you will be teaching them?
What misconceptions might they have about the concept that is being taught?
How will you assess student prior knowledge?

Students will need to know how to type a sentence on the iPad with using proper uppercase/lowercase letters and punctuation.

Students will need to know how to read a nonfiction book and summarize main ideas or important information of the text.

Students might want to write only characteristics about the animal that they already know instead of using a resource to support their learning.

Students might think they will finish their project the first time they sit down and start working on it. They often have a very hard time saving their project and working on it again later.

I will assess their prior knowledge by having students prove to me how they can determine main ideas and details by using a nonfiction book during guided reading.
I will also have the students prove how they can correctly formulate a sentence using the iPad. This will be done during iPad hour. This will all be done the Tuesday before starting unit. - This will be done any day before starting this project in future years.
Instructional Materials, Resources, and Technology

Materials Needed to Teach Lesson

Nonfiction stories - Used to provide students a resource about various types of animals.
Trading Card Planning Page - Used to help students record their characteristics of their animal prior to starting. (Attached)
iPads - Students will be using iPads to create their trading card on their new learning. (using 5 classroom iPads)
Trading Cards App - Students will use this app to create their project.
National Geographic Magazines - Used to show students how you can find animal characteristics by reading articles.
Mimeo Board - Model how to use the two web pages find animal characteristics
Rubric- Rubric is attached for their grading

Students Will Need

Nonfiction stories - Used to provide students a resource about various types of animals.
Trading Card Planning Page - Used to help students record their characteristics of their animal prior to starting.
iPads - Students will be using iPads to create their trading card on their new learning. (Using 5 classroom iPads)
Trading Cards App - Used to create their project.
National Geographic Magazines - Used to find animal characteristics

Applications Used

Students will be using the app Trading Cards to produce a trading card with information on an animal of choice. Students will complete the trading card by filling in the questions that the trading card offers on animals. Students will record their information, draw their picture for the top of the trading card, and present their project to their peers.

How I will use it

I will use the app to show students how to create a project. I will also have a completed project done to show them what their final project will end up looking like.

Classroom Management Considerations
To manage the technology of my classroom, I will have the students assigned to days of the week that they can use their technology. We only have 5 iPads so each student will be able to access the technology about 3 to 4 times a week until finished.

Students will write down iPad color on their planning page.

Students will be able to use the chromebooks and desktop computers to complete their research also. We have enough desktops and chromebooks for the other students who do not have access to the iPad to complete their research that way if that is how they are finding their information.

Our iPads in our classroom are our own, our management system is that the students must ask before using them, wash their hands, and use two hands when carrying them. Our students also know that iPads are used for educational purposes.

Students will be very concerned about not finishing their trading card the first time they sit down. I will explain to them prior that they will not, and that they have assigned times and days to use them. Students will also try and rush through their research to get onto the iPad faster. I will also make sure and talk to them about this in advanced as well as checking over all of their characteristics prior to allowing them on their iPad.

Some individuals may have a very hard time finding characteristics and typing their information into their trading card. I will assist these students more one on one as well as buddying them up with a few of my high achieving students. - See below in differentiation section
Learning Tasks
• aligned with learning targets, state standards, big idea and/or essential question
• aligned with students’ learning needs of individuals and whole class
• aligned with the academic language demands of this lesson.

Learning Tasks Plan
1. Engagement/Anticipatory Set
How will you introduce the lesson in order to capture their attention to help them focus on the lesson?

How will you get students to activate their prior associations, ideas, or connections to your lesson?

The “hook” that gets the students excited and anxious to participate in the lesson. A short statement, question, or example that relates to the topic and to the interests/prior knowledge of the students. This leads into the focus statement: a short, simple statement by the teacher using student-friendly language that tells the students what they will be doing during the lesson and why it is important.

2. Development (steps and procedures during lesson)
How will you present the lesson? These will include multiple steps. This should be in bulleted or numbered format presented in sequence Explain what you will say and do to ensure student thinking and learning. What strategies, activities, and examples will you incorporate into your lesson? How will you transition children from one segment of the lesson to another segment?

3. Closure
How will you bring the lesson to closure and help students verbalize what they learned? (This is a closing to what you have taught).
Closure is the time to help the students organize the information that has been presented to aid their retention. The students should do the thinking and discussion rather than the teacher. The teacher can engage them in a short review by posing questions. The students should be given a chance to personally reflect on the lesson, to share their ideas with others and with the class as a whole.

Day 1:
1. To start my lesson, I will introduce students to a puffer fish.

1A. What do we know about puffer fish? Write in on our KWL chart. - We have digital KWL charts through our reading Wonders program.

2. I will first show them a picture of the puffer fish unpuffed and then a picture of the puffer fish puffed up.

2A. What do we want to learn about puffer fish? Close your eyes and imagine you are a scientist, what do you see when you find a puffer fish in the ocean?

2B. Show quick clip to activate their prior knowledge of a puffer fish I will ask them if they remember this character - Bloat from Finding Nemo.

Show clip - In this clip Bloat puffs up

3. Why do you think puffer fish puff up? We will talk about how and when they think puffer fish puff up.

4. I will read the story Puffer Fish by Tori Miller.

5. What did we learn about puffer fish?

6. Let’s look at what we just learned about puffer fish, what are some of the key characteristics we wrote about on our KWL chart.

7. Have students come and highlight some key characteristics.

8. Close lesson for today, reopen lesson again tomorrow with transporting characteristics onto the trading card planning sheet.

Day 2
1. Introduce planning page to student.

2. As a class, fill out the planning page about puffer fish.

2A. Act as if you do not remember information about puffer fish, recall back to the KWL chart about the animal as well as look back into the book.

3. Show how to format sentences so they are ready to type right away. (spaces, punctuation, best fit spelling)

4. Release students to go and do their research.
- Once they find their animal of choice, students must raise their hands and have myself or my teachers assistance come over and okay their animal and give them planning page. We will be taking quick notes on what they already do know about the animal.

4A: Release students first if they know for sure they are using a book.
4B: Release students second if they know for sure they are using the National Geographic Magazine.
4C: Release the students who know they are using the internet second.
-All of the desktops and computers will be open for the students to research their animal. They will be on the correct web pages.

5. Support students in their research when needing help.

6. Have students wrap up where they are for the day, students will hand in their planning sheets, with a sticky note they will write what resource they were using, if they can, they will keep their resource right with their planning page for easy access the next day.

7. Bring all students back to carpet to share their animal they will be researching.

Day 3:
1: Introduce students to using the App. Show the students the images attached of what they will see when they first open the App.

Picture one - How to create a new user
Picture two - How to type in your name
Picture three - How to create a new card
Picture four - How to select object and name your animal
Picture five - How to start your trading card and how to answer the questions.
Picture six - Show students how to keep it and log out.

1A. Show students in small groups how to start using the Trading Cards App.
- Will have 4 small groups, show how to just set up their trading card first.

2.. Have student set up their trading card app. Have students write what color iPad they have on their planning sheet so they know where they can find their trading card.

Day 4 - 6:
1. Students will continue to research and fill in their planning page.

2. Students will complete their trading card.

3. Students will draw a picture of their animal for their trading card.

4. Students will print trading card.

5. Students will share their trading card with their peers.

• assessing prior knowledge and readiness for lesson
• assessing learning during lesson and at end of lesson including student self-assessment of learning as associated with the learning target.
• planning the next steps of learning based on the data or information gained through the lesson’s assessments.

Assessment Plan
Assessments to help teacher and students monitor and support student learning:
For example: pre-assessment, observation, listening for answering in a discussion, use of a checklist, checking for understanding through a quiz or a test, use of a rubric to grade a test, discussion, presentation. Be sure to state how you are going to assess the learning and name the assessment you will use.


For pre-assessment I will first have students pick their animal and tell me some things they already know about the animal. I will jot notes so I can determine if new learning occurred during their research.

During our time frame of our project, I will be visually assessing students based on their active participation in group time as well as their use of their researching and learning time. This will be incorporated into their final grade.

Students will use the trading card preplanning guide to help them transfer their learning on to their project.

Students will grade themselves first using the rubric, any areas that are not scored 3’s they have the opportunity to fix if they can. (Attached)

Presentations will be done in small groups. Students will be grouped with 3-4 other students within the classroom, they will then each present one fact that they want to share to all of their peers.
Accommodations / Differentiation to support student learning

Differentiation Plan
Differentiation will be used to determine the amount of characteristics and facts the students need to complete. The trading card does have two sides, some students will complete both, others will complete on side. - This will help students not feel overwhelmed with the amount of information they need to complete. They will also probably finish their portion within the same time frame as their classmates, making them feel successful and not overwhelmed with what else they would still have to do.

I will pair and have some of my excelled learners work with and read books to my struggling students. - I have a few students who adapt very well with learning from peers. They look up to their peers for help and support, leading them to feel very successful.

I will also allow for some of my students to tell me their information and I will help write it to their planning sheet. This will help those struggling writers feel successful when it comes time to transfer their information to the app. - I will use this technique since I have a student who is at a beginning kindergarten level and struggles with making letter/sound correlations.

For my child with autism, I will allow him to choose his animal and watch various youtube informational clips on the animal to help him learn about new animal characteristics. - I will use this strategy since reading is a struggle and he learns very well through the use of technology, songs, and videos.

For the high level learners, I will have them choose two animals of the same family, they will describe both animals on their planning sheet. After they complete their trading card, they will compare and contrast the two animals. For example, they may pick both a puma and a lion. They will compare the two cats and contrast them.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson crosses curriculum in reading, science, technology, & writing.
Students follow up activities are for them to independently use researching materials and apply them into the Trading Card App
Materials: English/Language Arts, Mice, Keyboards, Video Tools, Elementary, Digital Voice Recorders, Short Throw Projectors, Video Cameras, Whiteboards, Reading, Literacy, Writing, Clip Art, Worksheets, Animation
Other Items: 4 iPads, $399.99 each, total of $1599.96