Background from

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Animal Research

Our 1st graders have just completed a research unit based on a similar activity from Mr. Winner at his blog. Students began with an introductory reading of Wild About Books and watching Diary of a Spider from BookFLIX. We talked about ways that authors can include facts about topics in their fiction stories. We could agree that it was true, for instance, that spiders really do have 8 legs but they do not, however, go to school or have play dates. :)

Students began with a note-taking page to gather facts about their animals. Our example is a version of Mr. Winner's note-taking page--his blog was a big help! :)
You can access the note-taking page HERE.

Students then worked on a planning page before writing their books. Ultimately, students were writing and illustrating creative mini-books that incorporated facts from their research. The planning page asked them to consider what will happen at the beginning, middle, and end of their stories. They could also sketch what they'd like their illustration to look like for this part of their stories. Again, our page is similar to Mr. Winner's page. 
You can access the planning page HERE.
Finally, it was book writing and illustrating day! Students each got a mini-book to write and illustrate their stories. We're hoping to Skype with our friends in Grimes--and maybe with Mr. Winner's group!--when our work is finished.


  1. What a perfect research project for the lower grades! Can I "borrow" your ideas for my classes this fall? I'm hosting my district LMS in-service this summer. Would love to share your blog post. We're trying to find ways to incorporate CCS ideas into our curriculum.

  2. Feel free to use. :) I borrowed quite liberally from Mr. Winner's blog. Have you been there? It's *wonderful* & has some things in this unit that we didn't include.

  3. Yes! Love his site. I started following his site a couple months ago. His blog is already on my list. I'm trying to get some of our librarians to try new things.