Whether you are doing a simple animal study or a fully integrated science, reading, and writing unit, this animal research project for kids includes everything you need. From the graphic organizer worksheets and guided note templates to the writing stationary, printable activities, projects, and rubrics.
Thousands of teachers have used this 5-star resource to have students complete self-guided animal research projects to learn about any animal they choose. The best part is, the resource can be used over and over again all year long by just picking a new animal! Learn all about this animal research project for kids at the elementary level below!
What is the Animal Research Project?
The animal research project is a resource that is packed with printable and digital activities and projects to choose from. It is perfect for elementary teachers doing a simple animal study or a month-long, fully integrated unit. It’s open-ended nature allows it to be used over and over again throughout the school year. In addition, it includes tons of differentiated materials so you can continue to use it even if you change grade levels. Learn about what’s included in it below!
What is Included in the Animal Research Project
The following resources are included in the animal research project:
The teacher’s guide includes tips and instructions to support you with your lesson planning and delivery.
The parent communication letter promotes family involvement.
There are graphic organizers for brainstorming a topic, activating schema, taking notes, and drafting writing.
There are research report publishing printables including a cover, writing templates, and resource pages.
There is a grading rubric so expectations are clear for students and grading is quick and easy for you.
The research activities include a KWL chart, can have are chart, compare and contrast venn diagram, habitat map, vocabulary pages, illustration page, and life cycle charts.
Animal Flip Book Project
There are animal flip book project printables to give an additional choice of how students can demonstrate their understanding.
Animal Flap Book Project
There is an animal flap book project printables that offers students yet another way to demonstrate their learning.
Animal Research Poster
The animal research poster serves as an additional way to demonstrate student understanding.
The resource includes poetry activities to offer students an alternative way to demonstrate their learning.
There is a digital version of the resource so your students can access this resource in school or at home.
Why Teachers love the Animal Research Project
Teachers love this animal research project because of the following reasons:
- This resource guides students through the research and writing process, so they can confidently work their way through this project.
- It is a great value because it can be used over and over again throughout the school year because the pages can be used to learn about any animal.
- It offers several ways students can demonstrate their learning.
- It includes a ton of resources, so you can pick and choose which ones work best for you and your students.
- It is printable and digital so it can be used for in-class and at-home learning.
This animal research packet is great because it can be used over and over again using absolutely any animal at all. The printables in this packet are ideal to use with your entire class in school, as an at-home learning extension project or as a purposeful, open-ended, independent choice for your students who often finish early and need an enrichment activity that is so much more than “busy work.”
The Research Report Process
This animal research project packet was designed in a manner that allows you to use all of the components when studying any animal. Because the printables can be used over and over, I will often work through the entire researching and writing process with the whole class focusing on one animal together, This allows me to model the procedure and provide them with support as they “get their feet wet” as researchers. Afterwards I then have them work through the process with an animal of choice. You may find it helpful to have them select from a specific category (i.e. ocean animals, rainforest animals, etc) as this will help to streamline the resources you’ll need to obtain.
Step 1: Brainstorm a list of animals to research. Select one animal.
During this stage you may want to provide the students with a collection of books and magazines to explore and help them narrow down their choice.
Step 2: Set a purpose and activate schema.
Students share why they selected the animal and tell what they already know about it. Next, they generate a list of things they are wondering about the animal. This will help to guide their research.
Step 3: Send home the family letter.
To save you time, involve families, and communicate what is happening in the classroom, you may want to send home a copy of the family letter. It’s so helpful when they send in additional research materials for the students.
Step 4: Research and take notes.
The two-column notes template is a research-based tool that helps the kids organize their notes. I added bulleted prompts to guide the students in finding specific information within each category. This method has proven to be highly effective with all students, but is especially useful with writers who need extra support.
I have included two versions of the organizers (with and without lines). I print a copy of the organizer for each student. I also copy the lined paper back to back so it is available to students who need more space.
Step 5: Write a draft.
Using the information gathered through the research process, the students next compose drafts. The draft papers were designed to guide the students through their writing by providing prompts in the form of questions. Answering these questions in complete sentences will result in strong paragraphs. It may be helpful to give them only one page at a time instead of a packet as it make the task more manageable.
Step 6: Edit the draft.
Editing can be done in many ways, but it is most effective when a qualified editor sits 1:1 with a student to provides effective feedback to them while editing.
Step 7: Publish.
Print several copies of the publishing pages. I like to have all my students start with the page that has a large space for an illustration, but then let them pick the pages they want to use in the order they prefer after that. I have them complete all the writing first and then add the illustrations.
Finally, have the children design a cover for the report. Add that to the front and add the resources citation page to the back. Use the criteria for success scoring rubric to assign a grade. The rubric was designed using a 20 point total so you can simply multiply their score by 5 to obtain a percentage grade. The end result is a beautiful product that showcases their new learning as well as documents their reading and writing skills.
In closing, we hope you found this animal research project for kids helpful! If you did, then you may also be interested in these posts: