Adopt an Endangered Animal
Elementary AMC February 13, 2016
Happy Saturday. I am very excited to share a project we have been working on in our classroom for the last few weeks. I am in LOVE with this project...it was totally engaging for the students, involved non-fiction reading and writing, persuasive writing, presenting and now will be a home-school writing connection!!!
What you may ask accomplished all this, well, we adopted TWO animals. Okay, we did not really adopt an animal, we symbolically adopted two animals from the World Wildlife Foundation of Canada. I had heard of this idea before but I read this blog post from Mrs. Mathis and knew I had to try it this year.
First we wrote down our ideas about what the word endangered means and added our thoughts to our Wonder board. Then we read some books that got us thinking about animals and the what endangered means. We came up with a class definition of the word endangered and added that to our board under what we know.
Our next step was visiting the WWF website (Canadian website) to see which animals we could adopt. At the website click on the Donate tab and then click to symbolic adoptions.
I printed off the web page with the animal pictures to create a chart. After reading through the list students put their name on a sticky note and put it under the animal they wanted to learn about and adopt.
After students selected their animals we began our research. We used PebbleGo to begin our animal research. I love that the site presents information at my students' level and that it will read the information to them. Students needed to record four facts about their animal and where in the world their animal lives.
They wrote their facts on sticky notes and attached them to their research page. After collecting their point form facts we turned them into sentences.
Next we used Kiddle to continue our research. Students used Kiddle to research why there animal is endangered by typing in the question "Why is _____________endangered?". I love using this site with my class since not all of them are strong readers and the information is presented in a visual format. We also used Google Read&Write to have the website information read to the students.
Again students collected facts. We tried to write at least two reasons why their animal was endangered since this information.
After the students wrote 2-4 of their own opinions about the animal and why they thought it should be adopted on sticky notes. Some wrote because it was cute and cuddly others thought of how the animal was important to their habitat or other animals.
Finally they put the facts and their opinions together into one persuasive argument. They took turns reading their argument to our class, but the vote was too close to call so we read them to our Grade 2 neighbours. I was so proud of them, how much they learned and how passionate they became about adopting their animal.
Finally we had our final results, we adopted a koala and a giraffe. Each animal cost $40 to symbolically adopt. We adopted them together online on Thursday and I could not believe it, but they arrived the next day!!! I had told my students it would take about 2 weeks for them to arrive so I decided to put them into our mystery box (we are working on making inferences and using the mystery box from Abby Mullins in our class). The students were given four clues and made their guesses.
The students were so excited and everyone wants them. So everyone gets them....for a few days! I am sending the stuffed animal home in the super cute bag it came in, with the information poster it came with, with two books (one non-fiction, one fiction) and a journal. Students will write about all the adventures the animal has while visiting their family.
If you want to use the simple templates I made for this project you can pick them up here.
This process has been super motivating for my students so I am linking this idea up with the queen of motivating students, Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching, and her linky.....