Kindergarten Animal Research Projects

Thursday, 9 June 2016



In February, we began watching the Decorah Eagle webcam and the children became very interested in the habits and behaviors of the bald eagle.


They had lots of questions about the eggs and eaglets and this was just the spark we needed to kick-off our Animal Research Unit.


A Shared Research Project  

The webcam itself provided a lot of information for our research and gave us an up-close look at a bald eagle's features, nest, and behaviors. 


In addition, we used books, artifacts, and websites such as Pebblego.com to expand our knowledge and answer our questions.

models of eagle feathers, skull, and talons

Pebble Go
We then worked together to write a nonfiction book that included facts about the eagle’s body, habitat, diet, and life cycle.  

Understanding and Measuring Wingspan

We shared our books with our first-grade friends who were also writing nonfiction and brought their own books to share. 


To further show our learning and culminate our research project, we broke into 4 small groups and were given specific challenges to apply our learning. 

One group was challenged to design and build an eagle habitat.



Another was asked to make models of eagle eggs that were "actual size."


Still another was asked to fill an eagle's "lunchbox" with foods that it would eat.


And the final group was charged with measuring and drawing an eagle's wingspan to actual size.



Each group shared their project with another kindergarten class and answered any questions they had.

Individual Research Projects     

With that experience under our belt, it was then time for the children to write their own nonfiction books based on an animal of their choosing. 

To begin, they recorded their top three choices on a post-it note and animal research groups were formed based on their interests.  


All children were given the option of working within a group, but a few preferred to work alone. 

Each group/individual was given a few books on their topic as well as note paper and a guided drawing sheet for their animal. 

Since many of the books were too difficult for them to read, they gathered their facts using the illustrations and any prior knowledge they had about their animal.

Tigers

 These facts were then used to write their own All About books.


Pandas
Snakes

Sharks
Butterflies

dinosaurs

Dolphins
Once their books were complete, they took turns sharing their work with the whole class.


Beyond Writing Workshop

The children's interest in animal studies continued in the classroom beyond writing workshop as they loved building habitats and zoos in the Block Center and using the nonfiction animal books in the Science Center to do further research.



We continue to check in with the eagles to observe the growth of the eaglets and anticipate their flight from the nest.  

My kindergartners too will be leaving  soon, and the work they've done with these animal research projects shows me they are more than ready to go!  

Thanks for stopping by!

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