Friday, August 5, 2011

Polar Animal Research

It's hard to imagine snow here in Texas where it is currently 106 degrees, but here goes nothing...

For this project we let the students choose which animal they wanted to research. Again, Nancy Deveneau and I went to several libraries to find books. In the end we narrowed it down to about eight different animals. (Sadly, there was not enough literature out there on the arctic fox- bummer!) Since the kids picked their animals the groups were multi-talented and had varied levels of readers. This worked out perfectly!

One important thing we did in the library before we officially started research is make a list of the books we were using. The kids had a typed piece of paper titled "Resources." Then it was numbered 1-6, although some groups had more than six and had to add on. The students wrote down the titles and authors of all the books (in groups of course, we don't want a student to get writer's cramp). In some groupse we had Zoobooks and other magazines so we showed them how to record this as well. Then, we let the kids look through the books and explore.

Before we started the project I asked the students to fill this out to the best of their ability. At the end of the research I allowed them to go back and add on. This was great for pre and post asessment.

After recording their resources and the pre-assessment (so about the third day), I gave each student a research packet. This included the research project page on top and all the corresponding pages behind it. I stapled it booklet style (three staples on the left side) to keep it together. I knew the kids would be flipping back and forth A LOT. Okay, confession, this was way more copy paper than I was comfortable using. I'm all about going green, but honestly it was worth it in the end.

Size it Up

X Marks the Spot

Predator and Prey

That's Me!


Habitat Scat

Sorry the picture wouldn't upload- but this is one of my favorite pages!
Five Fabulous Facts

A couple important notes about this project:

1. I went old school style and handwrote the page numbers. Yes, I'm sure there is a way to combine all documents and have a pretty little typed number on the bottom. If you figure that
out, please email me the upgraded copy! I didn't bother with this because I wanted to print my pages front to back and save trees. Once I had a finished copy front to back I added the page numbers to the bottom corner AND on the tic tac toe board. I wanted the kids to be able to find the activity fast.

2. On the X Marks the Spot page, again I went old school. I printed a world map from our online social studies resources, cut it out, and glued it on the page. Sorry I left a big blank space there, forgive me!

I hope this helps you in some way! If you use it please let me know how it works for you!


  1. I have pinned this on Pintrest! I will definitely be using it come January/Feb. with my higher group as an independent research project. I might even use parts of it as a whole class project! Thanks for sharing!!

    Frolicking Through First

  2. Thanks Amanda for the pinterest shout out! Love it!

  3. What a great research project! I love how you have created directed activities to assist young researchers!
    Just wanted to let you know that the final page 'Dynamic Diagrams' shows as 'Polar Munchies' when you try to download it.
    Thanks for this fantastic research project!

  4. Thanks Michelle for letting me know! I've gone back and reassigned the link. Let me know if you still have trouble!

  5. This is great! Thanks so much for sharing.