I was first introduced to the idea of creating Animal Dioramas when my son (who was a first grader at the time), brought home a shoebox and a basic instruction sheet from his teacher to create a diorama of any animal and its natural habitat. Being a mom, I was so excited about the opportunity to help my son create something he was so excited about! Being a teacher, I knew that I had to do a project like this with my own students, but I had no idea where to start.
I shared the idea with my second grade colleagues, and they all loved it! We worked together to create a basic letter to send home to parents, but struggled to find just the right way to show students exactly what the project is and how to do it. (I don't know about your class, but I have to break everything into very small steps for most of my kiddos!) So, I decided to create a unit that would have everything you could ever need for doing a project like this. Trust me, if you want to do this project with your class - this unit will save you SO much time and make your life so much easier!
Earlier this week, I sent home a letter to parents to let them know that we will be starting our dioramas soon! I also asked parents to send shoe boxes to school with their child, if possible. You may want to send home your parent letter 1-2 weeks before you intend to send home the assignment. I like to send everything home with the student on a Friday, so they have the weekend to start gathering supplies and begin working on their project. I usually give students 3-4 weeks to complete the project at home. My student dioramas are due on May 6th, which gives me plenty of time to have them present their projects and have them on display for our Open House the following week! After that, I'll be happy to send them home with the students.
That's it! Easy-peasy! Just send the directions for the project, the animal research report poster, the student grading rubric, and the presentation outline home and have your students work on their projects on their own time. My second grade team and I decided to have one day where we all will keep our classrooms open or an hour or so after school so students can come in and work on their projects, use classroom supplies, get help with research, etc.
We will be doing the majority of the research in the classroom, and will be writing the research reports as well. I just prefer to do that part with the students, so I can guide them through the writing process. The majority of our research will be done on the internet during our computer lab time. I've found these websites to be VERY helpful and easy for kids to find the information they need for their reports!
ANIMAL RESEARCH REPOR PRINTABLES
This download includes an Animal Research Report Poster for your students to complete with information and illustrations. It also includes differentiated writing templates for an animal research report.
This page is best when used along with my Animal Diorama and Research Report Project Pack!
ANIMAL DIORAMA AND RESEARCH REPORT ~ PROJECT PACK
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