We spent the week completeing a research and writing project, and had a BLAST! Writing has always been my most difficult subject to teach, and I feel like I am always struggling through my school's writing curriculum. Awhile back I saw a blog post from Adventures with Firsties about a research report she had done with her first graders that looked amazing. So last week I got her Jungle Animals pack from her TPT store and tried it out. It ended up being a great resource! My students haven't written such well done pieces to date! They were so proud of their hard work! It made my heart (and their's) so happy to see how well they can actually write. Here is how our week researching and writing looked:
We started out doing our first report project altogether. We chose jaguars, although the pack includes serveral different jungle animals. Next week they will do their own projects with one of the other animals.
We started wth the jaguar text page. I treated this as a close read. We reread it a few times and analyzed the information and vocabulary. Then I gave the students highlighters and they searched for facts and recorded them on the web graphic organizer.
We all know that highlighters are like magic and make any work much more fun!
Karen Rowland from Adventures with Firsties provided some awesome resources in her pack for organizing and using the information from the text. We used the web graphic organizer and Can/Have/Are chart as additions to our report, but the pack is jam-packed with much more. She also has several other animal themed research writing packs (which I cannot wait to try out)!
The next day we started our actual reports. We discussed how to start an informational writing piece, and brainstormed topic sentences. Then we discussed how to take our facts and make them flow as actual sentences. When it came to the report writing they did great! I had them use 3 facts from their web-organizer.
It took them about 2 days to finish thier writing, and then we were ready to put our reports togeother. We completed a Meet the Author Page and Table of Contents pages and added those, along with our graphic organizers. They felt like real authors once they had a whole research booklet to show. Finally we added our cover pages and the reports were complete!! Next week the students will complete a report all on their own. The other animals included in the jungle pack are: boa, macaw, sloth, toucan, tree frog, and orangutan. They can't wait to get started on another great report. Here is one sweetie's finished report. My camera died before I could get the whole report (sad day), but you get the jist of it.
I HIGHLY suggest this research writing pack! Your little writers will impress the socks off you, and will have a fabulous informational writing piece (or several) to show at the end. Its a great way to meet the writing standards. Click on the picture below to check it out!