Science/Language Arts: And the Ground Began to Shake: A New Twist to Animal Research

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					Science/Language Arts:

And the Ground Began to Shake:
A New Twist to Animal Research
                                                                                                                           by Chris Haeffner

C          lassroom teachers love
           animal research—and for
           good reason. There are
always plenty of resources, the topic
fits well into a variety of curriculum
                                                      animals and how animals adapt.
                                                         Students will write a paragraph that
                                                      imcorporates what they have learned about a
                                                      specific animal and its habitat.
                                                                                                         their animal and decide on a name to be used
                                                                                                         for their animal in their writing. Students
                                                                                                         will then write a detailed description of their
                                                                                                         animal from a narrator’s point of view (see
                                                                                                         Writing Example).
                                                      Grade Levels: 3-6
areas, and, best of all, students get it.                                                                  Writing Example
They like animals, they understand                                                                         Sambi is a Bactrian camel that lives in
                                                      Resources:                                           the rocky deserts of Mongolia and Chi-
the purpose of their research, and                    A variety of animal and habitat reference            na. She has a thick, shaggy coat that
it’s all pretty well laid out. This lesson               materials, including nonfiction print,            protects her from the brutally cold
continues to use animals and their                       online and print encyclopedias, Web sites,        winters. When summer arrives and
habitats for the premise of research,                    videos, etc.                                      the temperature soars, Sambi loses
but requires students to ask more                                                                          her coat to keep her overheating. Like
questions, analyze information,                       Instructional Roles:                                 other camels, Sambi doesn’t sweat,
and creatively hypothesize in an                          The classroom teacher and school librar-         so she can store enough fluids in her
                                                      ian work collaboratively to assist students          body to survive for several weeks.
imaginative writing activity.
                                                      in finding important facts about an animal
                                                      and its habitat. The school librarian demon-
                                                                                                         Days 4 and 5:
Information Literacy/                                 strates the necessary research skills and gives
                                                                                                            Upon completing the first part of their
                                                      examples of the final project. The classroom
Inquiry Objectives:                                   teacher focuses on the skills associated with
                                                                                                         writing, students will be given the following
Connecting to AASL’s Standards for the 21st-                                                             story transition:
                                                      reading for detail and expressing ideas clearly
  Century Learner:                                                                                          Suddenly, the ground began to shake!
                                                      in writing.
  ▶Inquire, think critically and gain                                                                       The wind began to blow, and the whole
    knowledge (1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4,                                                                  world seemed to twist and spin! When
    1.1.6, 1.1.7, 1.1.8, 1.1.9, 1.1.4, 1.2.1, 1.27,   Procedures for Completion:                            everything became still, (Name of your
    1.4.3).                                           Day 1:                                                animal) found himself in a place he didn’t
  ▶Draw conclusions, make informed                        Students choose their topic and are               recognize.
    decisions, apply knowledge to new                 guided through the process of identifying             At this point, assign students a new
    situations, and c
Description: Connecting to AASLs Standards for the 21st-century Learner. * Inquire, think critically and gain knowledge (1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4, 1.1.6, 1.1.7, 1.1.8, 1.1.9, 1.1.4, 1.2.1, 1.27, 1.4.3). * Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge (2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.6, 2.4.1,2.2.2). * Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society (3.1.1, 3.1.3). Students will use various reference and nonfiction sources in print and electronic media to locate and retrieve information, take notes, and synthesize their research into a detailed and creative report. Once they have researched all aspects of the new habitat, including physical description, climate, and wildlife, students continue the story, this time comparing and contrasting the two habitats and presenting how their animal reacts and adapts to this new environment.
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