Search Keyword:
Grade Level:
Search in:
Advanced Search
Exploring Animals
After reading and discussing the story "There's an Owl in the Shower" by Jean Craighead George, the third graders begin a research project on pre-selected animals. The research is directed by the LMS, but the classroom teachers assist and require a short descriptive report (2-3 paragraphs) with a picture at the end of the resarch.

NOTE: This research project spans a number of sessions which are described in the procedures.
Goals & Objectives:
1) Students will practice using encyclopedias, periodicals, and nonfiction books for research on an assigned animal.
2) Students will begin to practice note-taking skills by recording their answers to questions on a recording sheet.
3) Students will learn how to cite their sources when doing research.
Materials & Sources:
  1. Easy-to-read nonfiction books about selected animals
  2. Zoobooks Magazines on selected animals
  3. World Book Student Discovery Encyclopedia
  4. Animal Research Recording Sheet
  5. Bibliography Sheet

This research project takes about 4-5 30 minute classes (I meet with the 3rd grade classes once per week for 30 min.)

Day 1:

As an introduction to the research, we review what they learned about the Spotted Owl in the story "There's An Owl in the Shower" by Jean Craighead George. I tell the students that each of them will now research an animal to find out more about its habitat, life span, etc.

I ask the students what types of resources we can use to find out information about our animals. Through discussion, we determine that the best resources are NF books, Encyclopedias, periodicals, and the Internet. Due to time constraints, the students do not search on the Internet, but I tell them that there are several excellent web sites on animals.(They may do some Internet searching with the classroom teacher during the computer lab time.)

The students then select their assigned animal by randomally picking an animal name from a can. I ask the students to write their animal name on their "Animal Research Recording Sheet" in the appropriate space.

We then read and discuss each of the questions on the "Animal Research Recording Sheet". I explain to them that over the next few library classes, they will be in small groups and will rotate to each of 3 research centers: The Nonfiction Book Center, the Encyclopedia Center, and the Zoobooks Magazine Center. They must answer at least 2 questions from each center and record the answers on their sheets. If they have time, they may answer more, but must use each resource for their research. They are required to answer at least 6 out of the 10 questions.

For the last few minutes of the class period, I direct them to the "Bibliography Sheet". We discuss why it is important to have this information when we do research. I explain to the students that they will be instructed on how to record the necessary information on this sheet as they work at each center.

Days 2-4:

Once the students are settled at the tables, I hand out their Recording sheets (bibliography sheet is attached). I explain to them that they will be working with the same group each week, but that they are doing their own work. I break the class into 3 groups of 8 students and assign them to one of the three centers. They will spend the class period looking up information at their center and recording any information that they find.

For the last 10 minutes of class, I direct the students to the "Bibliography Sheet". We walk through where to find the necessary information for each of the resources, and the students record the information in the correct space on their sheets.

For each of the days, the groups will rotate to each of the centers until they have used each resource once. On the last day of research, I give the Recording sheets to the classroom teacher and she completes the project in the classroom. Once these are done, I visit the class to view their projects.

Active Participation in the class discussions will direct instruction.
1.Students will be able to use the selected resources to answer questions on their assigned animal.
2.Students will be able to fill out the information on the bibliography sheet accurately.
3.Teachers will evaluate the final product on the students' accuracy of facts and ability to re-state the information in their own words.
The "Animal Recording Sheet" was adapted from the September 2002 Volume of the School Library Media Activities Monthly
Website by Data Momentum, Inc.