4th grade/science, language arts
Links to Files Associated with This Lesson
Hot List of Arctic/Antarctic Animals
for Animal Report Word Document
Area Objectives Addressed:
create an organized report including specific questions and information about
their assigned animal.
search reading materials to find information answering their questions about
understand the great diversity among animals.
use appropriate searches in the Internet to find specific information about
their animals being researched.
type and insert information from an AlphaSmart to a computer.
present research information on their assigned animal through a word document.
sort animal information in a spreadsheet to find specific animals and their
present their animal information in a PowerPoint presentation to a group.
use a word document to present their information in a simple format.
was the process that your students went through to complete this lesson?
read about the needs of animals in their science books.
As we read through the short information in their books, as a class we
wrote question that would need to be answered about an animal they would be
assigned. After finishing these general questions, students were allowed to pick
an animal of the Artic/Antarctic region.
Each student put together a folder including question cards and
information cards in a
Students then began to research and find answers to their questions in
books, encyclopaedias and through careful searches on the Internet. Before and
as they researched they were encouraged to make their report “personal” and
write other questions they really wanted to find out about their animal.
After research was completed, students entered their information into
AlphaSmarts, and then transferred it into the computer into textboxes in a Word
document. They completed their documents with a picture of their animal found
from their Internet searches.
During this time, students were also entering their information into a
spreadsheet for a later activity.
This later activity included students sorting and finding answers to
questions about the animals that all the students had researched. In a final
project, students transferred their information from AlphaSmarts into a
PowerPoint presentation to present to all their peers at the end.
How did you monitor student progress?
progress was monitored through observation during researches and rubrics for
Was there a template or an example that students were expected to
follow? How much time did you dedicate to this project?
12 to 15 hours
one hour every other day for 4 to 6 weeks during class time
was the final product presented?
were several final products at the end. The word documents were framed and hung
in the hallways. The PowerPoint presentations were shared a few at a time at the
beginning of science classes for several weeks. The spreadsheet was presented to
the students for them to complete a worksheet answering questions from the
Who was the audience for the final product?
I team teach with the other fourth grade class in our school, all students did
the exact same assignment and has the same assessments and presentations to
share. The audience included the fourth graders of the school.
Because we hung our reports in the hall, our audience includes the entire
school (as they pass our rooms on the way to the computer lab!).
What prior knowledge was required on the part of
the students in order for them to be successful in this project?
had knowledge and experience in working with the AlphaSmarts. They also needed
knowledge in how to scan and find information without reading every word.
Students needed to have a basic understanding of PowerPoint and a little
experience with typing in Word.
What was the student to computer ratio?
computers to 27 students in the classroom
for each student in computer lab
How did you schedule your students’ computer time?
small school accommodates a flexible computer schedule and the computer teacher
was flexible to give us time when needed.
What was the location of the computers and other technology equipment
used by students?
and computer lab
How would you suggest beginning teachers obtain
computer resources for their students? (Knowing some of your strategies would be
valuable for our preservice teachers.)
you can find business willing to donate or donate a little money to increase the
number of computers in the classroom (we gathered over $500 to purchase software
when school funds were not available). Keep your eyes open for opportunities and
programs that offer incentives (free computers are sometimes available). Talk to
your building principal and express the need verbally and by your teaching with
technology in the classroom. Your actions can speak more highly than your words.
Rate the level of access for students to use computers/other
technologies as they needed.
Rate the level of supervision required for students during the
project, specifically for computer and other technology use.
What hardware was required for your project?
What software was required for your project?
Office 2000 including Word, Excel, PowerPoint
folders, index cards, envelopes for organization
What kind of assessment did you use for this
project? (Include a copy if you can).
What categories did you assess?
does the product that you submitted compare with other students’ products for
this same project?
What did you like best about this project?
liked the flexibility of the project because of the questions they could create
and find about their animal. I love working with technology and I want to spread
the use of it to the students.
What did the students like best about this
kids got so excited they would ask everyday if it was their day for science.
They were excited when it was and discouraged when it wasn’t. I liked how the
students really stayed on task with their assignment.
Discipline was never a big problem during this lesson.
Rank the level of student involvement in this project.
Rank the level of student interest in this
Would you teach this lesson again?