Animal Research Project in the Lower Grades

Each year in the spring, the teachers on my team do an animal research project. It’s how we kick off our animal unit and the kids just go crazy for it! When we walk into the computer lab and I tell them that they get to get on Pebble Go and explore- they lose their minds! 
Animal Research Project

We start off by checking out all the different animal research project possibilities. Pebble Go has so much interesting information and a TON of animals. My students fill out a thinking map of the different animals they are interested I learning about. Then, I have them take their map home to talk with their parents about which one they should choose. I have them circle their top 2 choices and bring their map back to school. (I have also had where students didn’t have anyone help them figure out which one to do, so I did that part with them at school).

After students have chosen their animal to research, the next step is to think about what they already know about the animal. For a lot of them it isn’t much because I guide them towards picking an animal that they aren’t really familiar with. No dogs or cats for this project! :)
When the first few tasks are complete, we spend time actually doing the research. The majority of the information comes from Pebble Go, but they might also look in the classroom library or the school library. While researching, students take notes that has guides for what information they should be looking for.
Animal Research Project

The next step we usually take is putting all of the information together to make a brochure. We spend a little bit of time on this each day. I model a section of the brochure first and then the students work on theirs. We normally display these at Open House, so I stress to the students to take their time and do their best work. They think it is so exciting to make a brochure- and even more exciting that other people will look at them.

Animal Research Project

Animal Research ProjectAround the time that we start the brochure, I send home the parent letter that explains a diorama project for the animal’s habitat. I send an email with some information prior to that so that families can start planning. I like to give about 2-3 weeks on this project, although most finish sooner than that. They bring their projects up to school and we can then set everything out for Open House. We also like to try to have a ‘Gallery Walk’ between all of our classes so that the kids can see the work of the other students in the grade level.

Animal Research Project

Animal Research Project

Here are my sweeties from last year showing off their projects!

Since I teach first grade, this research packet is definitely geared towards the younger grades. It is not extensive or super-involved, but rather a simple way to allow the young ones to research.

Animal Research Project
Click here or the pictures above to visit this product in my TpT store. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the steps above. :) Enjoy!

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