Our first graders spent the last 9 weeks of school learning about animals and insects. We made a K-W-L chart to introduce the unit to the class. Then the students picked an animal that they wanted to learn more about. The children went to the library and picked out a book about their animal. Some got on the computer and googled their animal; others found information off of enchantedlearning.com. We spent most of our Science time reading about our animals and finding facts about their animal that they did not know anything about. The children then were given a format where they wrote at least 6 facts about their animal, they had to write a conclusion for their report, and they had to list the references where they got their information.
I took their papers home to check and edited their work and then they had to re-write their report and draw a picture of their animal. We had an author's tea where the parents were invited to the classroom to listen to their child read their reports. I found pictures of their animals off of Google and took pictures with the camera and projected them on the promethean board while the children were reading their reports. For example, there would be a picture of a Bear and the caption read, "Bears by Carlos." As the child was reading his report, the pictures would be up on the promethean board so that all parents would know who was reading and what their report was about. After our tea, we served cookies and punch to our parents. It was a good way to get parents involved, especially at the end of the year. I found it very exciting for parents who had not seen the promethean board in action. The parents were truly amazed. It was a great way to end the year! I worked with Melissa Garcia, 2nd grade teacher, on this project as her students were also learning about animals and writing a report. With Melissa's help, I was able to post one of the students' work on podbean.com and record a fact about his animal. Melissa commented on this child's work.