Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Let Me Tell You About My Favorite Animal
DescriptionDid you ever want to be a published author? Here is your chance. Students use graphic organizers to begin creating a book about their favorite animals.
ObjectivesThe student makes a plan before writing the first draft (for example, drawing pictures, using graphic organizers).
The student focuses on a central idea and groups related ideas.
Materials-Materials used to review vertebrate animal groups (picture cards, video, snapshots, books both fiction and nonfiction) Some examples of books are [It's Not Easy Being a Bunny, I Wish I Had Duck Feet, and Animals Should Definiteliy Not Wear Clothes].Check with your media specialist for more books (descriptive pictures are extremely helpful) or videos on animal habitats, eating habits, characteristics such as fur, wings, rough skin, etc. Check in the science text also. There are usually lists of book titles and technology materials listed.
-Examples of graphic organizers, using various shapes, on paper or overhead to share with students. (See associated file)
-8 x 11 newsprint or 12 x 18 construction paper to create graphic organizers. Have one sheet per student.
-Chart paper and different colored markers
-Teacher checklist (see associated file) one per child
-Teacher checklist written on chart paper for students to refer to during this process
Preparations1. Gather materials used to review vertebrate animal groups (picture cards, video, snapshots, books both fiction and nonfiction) Check with your media specialist and science text for additional titles.
2. Create examples of graphic organizers, using various shapes, on paper or overhead to share with students. For example, one shape in the middle would be main idea. Four supporting detail shapes can be lined up all above main idea, all below, or surrounding main idea. (One of each type to show to whole group)
3. Decide if students will use 8 x 11 newsprint or 12 x 18 construction paper to create graphic organizers. Have one sheet per student.
4. Gather chart paper and different colored markers
5. Download checklist (see associated file) and replicate one per child
6. Rewrite teacher checklist on chart paper for students to refer to during this process
Procedures1.The procedure notes are very detailed for this basic lesson to help beginning teachers.
2. Prerequisite is a completed science unit on animals focusing on common and distinguishing characteristics.
3. Inform students they are animal experts now and are going to share their knowledge with others who want to know about animals.
4. Generate ideas by reviewing animals (using picture cards, video, snapshots, fiction and nonfiction books or other materials you used in your unit) discussed from the 5 groups of vertebrate animals (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians) and their characteristics. Some examples of books are listed in the materials section. Check with your media specialist for titles of more books and videos involving animal habitats, eating habits, characteristics. You may also want to check science text. There are usually lists of suggested book titles and technology materials. Have a sheet of chart paper on wall for each group of animals to write characteristics as discussed in discussion. This will help students later in process. *Time for this section depends on your students, how well they remember this information.
5. Students are going to use their imagination to begin preparing. Instruct students to put their heads down, lie down on the floor, and/or close their eyes (whichever method you prefer) and imagine their favorite animal from one of the five groups discussed. “Picture what your animal looks like, feels like, where it lives, what it eats, etc.” (Any aspect of the characteristics you have discussed in unit). Tell them to take a picture (mental picture) of their animal to use in a short while.
6. Display models of graphic organizers you created during preparation. Organizers can be circles, triangles, squares or rectangles. Discuss why you would use a graphic organizer before writing (helps to stay focused on a central idea, get your ideas down, organize thoughts, etc.) and how a graphic organizer can be designed with the main idea as central focus and supporting details lined up all above main idea, all below or surrounding main idea.
7. Students pick an organizer and shape they feel comfortable with to draw. First, show what would happen if they drew their shape too small (can’t fit all information needed) or too big (take up too much space and can’t fit the remaining supporting details) on their paper. Remind students it doesn’t need to be perfect just proportionate to the paper being used. Teacher models this process by drawing shapes that are too big or small on the size paper chosen for students to use. Teacher then displays what a proportionate organizer would look like.
8. At this point, share the checklist used for assessment for students. Using the checklist that is written on chart paper, read and discuss what is being assessed and why. Students are given an opportunity to ask questions for clarification of both assignment and assessment. Explain that later in this lesson, they will be given the checklist to assess themselves before turning the organizer in. Go over directions on how to fill in checklist. Students can make any changes they feel is necessary to their organizer. Explain the teacher will use the same checklist to formatively assess their work as well.
9. Give a sheet of paper (8 x 11 newsprint or 12 x 18 construction paper, which is your preference) to individual students to draw their graphic organizer on.
10. Students label the main idea shape with the name of their favorite animal. Teacher models this process by showing an example. Discuss what main idea is (central idea or focus of writing). Circulate around room giving students immediate corrective and affirmative feedback.
11. Brainstorm what supporting details are. To do this, write, “supporting details” on board or chart paper. “What does support mean?” Have a brief group discussion. “What are details?” Have a brief group discussion.
12. Students pick four characteristics of their animals and write one in each supporting detail shape. Model with an example. Circulate among students giving immediate corrective and affirmative feedback.
13. Then students add to each of the supporting details why that characteristic is important to the animal (example, fur is important to mammals because it helps protect the animal) and why it is unique. (Discuss the meaning of unique) Teacher models with an example. Circulate among students giving immediate corrective and affirmative feedback.
14. Tell students this process, generating ideas prior to writing, was the first step in becoming published authors. Students will be working over the next few days or weeks (depending on student’s interest and ability) to create and publish a book of their own. You may need to discuss what published means.
15. At this point, when students feel they are finished with this first step, they receive a checklist from the teacher to self-assess. Students turn in both graphic organizer and checklist when all corrections have been made.
16. Collect all graphic organizers to formatively assess students by using teacher checklist found in associated file.
AssessmentsEach student should have completed a graphic organizer about the favorite vertebrate animal with main idea and supporting details. Checklist is used to self-assess (students) and formatively assess.
ExtensionsThis is an introductory lesson to publishing student created books. It also is related to the standard: Knows the common and distinguishing characteristics of groups of vertebrate animals (mammal, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians) by using that information as the central idea for the book.
Attached FilesThis file is the checklist needed for the students to perform a self-assessment and teacher to perform a formative assessment for this lesson. File Extension: pdf
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