Culminating Activity, Class Written Resource Book
Teacher of Lesson: Teresa Moore
Grade Level: 2/3
- Students will work in small groups to become experts on their assigned animal.
- Students will write a non-fiction chapter in a small group for a class book on ocean animals.
- Students will convey knowledge of unit concepts through their finalized chapter.
- portable hanging file box
- legal writing pads
- Construction paper for mounting
- any desired art materials for illustrations
- computer and printer
- Assign students to one of eight groups (sized 2-3 people). Give each group a Zoobook magazine. That is their animal to become experts on. Let them find a comfortable place in the room to browse through their magazine for 10-15 minutes. Suggest looking at pictures first, then read some interesting captions. Just go through it for enjoyment. At the end of that time, have one person return the Zoobook to the hanging file folder box which will house all our writing materials for this project. Each group has their very own folder, Zoobook, and legal writing pad.
- Have them write down as many questions as they can to ask about their animal. What don't they know yet? What would they like to know? What do they think needs to be included in their expert chapter on their animal. After awhile, have the class come together and share what they think would be important to have in a non-fiction book about animals. What specifics will we need to talk about? (food, shelter, adaptations, area of ocean it lives in, interesting facts...)
- Look at the Zoobooks in groups again. This time write down all the words in big bold letters. Do they agree these are important topics to include in their chapter? What do they know about each of these sections... write it below each topic (A.). Under (B.) write questions about that topic you don't know yet. How can we find out more about those topics? Read the passages under the headings, thoroughly. Can you answer any of your own questions yet? Is there anything else you learned that you hadn't thought about before. Write those under the proper heading. (This may take more than one day to complete) Students may want to divide the reading into individually assigned sections, rather than reading it all as a group. Which ever is best for that group.
- Meet with the group. Share any information with the group that was found individually. Look at the notes so far. Is there a way to organize it in a concept map? Make an organized plan sheet as a group. Are there any obvious gaps in your planning information? If so, look back in the zoobook for answers. Maybe another class literature/resource book could answer that question on your animal.
Day 5 (plus):
- Have each group fill out a questionnaire form for the other groups. "What do you know about sea otters? What would you like us to answer for you? What do you know about dolphins? What would you like us to answer for you?" Each group fills out seven forms... one for each of the other groups.
- Collect the forms on your animal from the other groups. Do they know much about your animal? Do they think they know something that is really incorrect. You may want to talk about common myths surrounding your animal in your chapter. Example: "Believe it or not... whales really aren't fish!" Are there any questions they asked that you don't have the answer for yet? If so, do some more research!
- Use the yellow writing tablet to start writing a draft of your chapter, based on your planning web. Groups may write together, or divide up sections. Again, a group decision.
- After your first draft, read through the paper with your group. Use pens (kept in the project box) to make edit markings on the chapter. Also write any suggestions for improvement on a slip of paper. Staple it to the copy. Make sure the editor(s) sign the peer editing slip.
- After your group went through peer editing, schedule a group writing conference with me. We will go through all the writing together and make any further changes as we see fit.
- Go back to revise again, then after it is rewritten, conference with me a second time. If I okay it, you may begin typing up the chapter on the class computer. As one person types the other(s) may start on illustrations and captions. (Make sure everyone gets a turn to type and illustrate.)
- By the end of the second week, hopefully we'll have some chapters ready to mount on nice paper and laminate to go in our class animal resource book. The book should be bound and ready to send home for families (one a night) to read at the end of the third week (our unit will be over at the end of the second week... the third week is a buffer for stragglers and revisions).
- Are the chapters complete? Were all asked questions from the students answered in the chapters?
- Meet with the group and ask them some oral questions about their animal. If they can answer them correctly, then they have become experts.
- Is the chapter that the group worked on ready to be put in the book before the deadline (third week)? And is the information included factual?
- Did they touch upon topics that we covered in the main unit? (types of food the animal eats, adaptations it has, problems it faces with humans, etc.)
- Have two groups edit each others' rough drafts for a non-biased opinion. Is the rough draft clear to students who haven't read about the animal before?
- It may even be more effective and useful than teacher/group conferences.
- If they need more structure, develop a working outline that they need to fill in researched information. From that outline, they should be able to write a coherent chapter.
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