First grade students will use technology to complete a report about a farm animal. A visit to a local farm will provide students with hands on demonstrations of farm animals and how they live. Students will learn in depth facts about one specific animal by conducting research online. Students will improve writing and typing skills by composing their animal report using the computer. Students will gain further practice with the writing process during center time when they will write a letter to their chosen animal.
Finally, students will gain presentation skills by presenting their animal findings to the class through oral presentations. These skills will be gained by meeting the following lesson objectives: 1. Students will identify farm animals. 2. Students will identify what their chosen farm animal eats. 3. Students will research and identify the name of the animal’s offspring. 4. Students will research and explain what resource their animal provides to humans. 5. Students will compile their research by using the computer. 6. Students will present their findings orally.
Brief Description of the Task: Students will record four important facts about their chosen animal during a visit to a farm. Students will learn about what their animal eats and what its offspring is called. Students will ask the farmer questions in order to learn more about their animal. Students will have their drawing and writing materials with them in order to record what they see while at the farm. These recordings and observations will be taken back to the classroom and used to conduct research and write a report about their animal.
After the reports are presented orally, they will be made into a class book for students to read during center time. Steps of the Lesson: 1. Visit the farm. Ask the farmer questions. Draw and write observations. 2. Find a picture of chosen animal on the computer via the Internet. 3. Find important facts about chosen animal and record them. 4. Glue the animal picture to a piece of writing paper. 5. Write down facts researched on the computer including name of animal, what the animal eats and what it provides for humans. Other important facts will be included. 6. Present the report orally to the rest of the class.
7. During center time, read the reports that have been made into a class book. 8. During center time, write a letter to chosen animal telling their animal about what they eat and where they live. A question for the chosen animal will also be included. Instructional Strategies Used: Sometimes summarizing and note taking are considered only “study skills” but they are two of the most powerful skills students can acquire (Marzano, et al, 2001). Summarizing and note taking give students the opportunity to identify and understand what they are learning (Marzano, et al, 2001).
When students take notes through their drawings and observations while at the farm, they will be making identifications of different farm animals and will be gaining an understanding of farm animals. In order to include the most useful information in their animal report, students will analyze the information they are receiving in order to decide what will need to be included in their report. Summary frames will be used while students are at the farm as students develop a series of questions for the farmer that will highlight the critical elements in order to learn specific types of information (Marzano, et al, 2001).
In this case, summary frames will allow students to learn about where their animal lives, what it eats and what it provides for humans. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition can push students to make an extra effort when they don’t feel like doing schoolwork or when the work is challenging. It is important for teachers to show students the connection between effort and achievement (Marzano, et al, 2001). The visit to the farm will be a fun activity for students and they will excited about doing something different so they will all most likely complete their note taking well.
However, computers can cause frustration, particularly for first graders who are still emerging readers and have a hard time navigating the Internet. Therefore, the Pause, Prompt and Praise strategy will be useful. When students get frustrated or discouraged while using the computer, the teacher can initiate a short pause so the student can collect his or her thoughts. Next, the teacher can give specific suggestions to help the student complete the assigned task. Last, the teacher can praise the student for correcting his or her error as well as completing the task (Marzano, et al, 2001).
Nonlinguistic representations will be included in this lesson plan. Students will include drawings of farm animals in their original note taking and research done while at the farm. These drawings will elaborate on the information that students are learning (Marzano, et al, 2001). Therefore, students will need to include pictures of the animal, details about where it lives and pictures of what it eats. Further, graphic organizers are useful for students when organizing information in a coherent way (Marzano, et al, 2001).
Providing students with graphical organizers as an option while conducting research will enable visual learners to organize their material in a way that will help them make the most sense of it. Not all students will need to use a graphical organizer but they will be made available to students who would like to use one. Marzano, R. J. , Pickering, D. J. , & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
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