Every year, I look forward to writing Animal Books with my kids. It requires some planning, the right resources, and lots of modeling.
Here’s how I do it!
This is such a rewarding project. My students feel very accomplished after they complete their books, and I always get compliments from my colleagues and students’ parents!
Step 1. The first step is to gather as many books about animals as you possibly can! The books have to be as close to your students’ reading levels as you can find. Sort them into bins for easy access.
Step 2. Then, I pick an animal to demonstrate the research process with. I ask my students to think of questions that they have about that animal, and create a question chart with them.
Step 3. The next day I model how to write answers to our questions. I read a few pages about the animal we are researching, and when I find an answer, I write in on a sticky note. The kids are sent with a buddy, a book, and sticky notes to do their own research! At the end of this lesson, they glue their sticky notes on the chart.
Step 4. Now students are ready to start their own research. In pairs, they choose an animal, write questions, and find answers.
It is very important to have an organized way for students to collect the information. As you can see in the picture, I hand out research sheets that keep all of the information organized for the kids! If you’d like to see what I use, you can look at it here.
Step 5. After the students are done with their research, it is time to write their books! I hand out templates with a space for writing and illustrating. I also give them pages for making diagrams, maps, writing a table of contents, a glossary, and an index. They work very hard to put those books together!
Step 6. The last page of the book, is this adorable “About the Author” sheet. I add that to every book we make. I love to see how different their thinking is throughout the year.
Step 7. Finally, with their books in hand, we have a Publishing Party in which students share their books with each other and eat some treats!
I hope you feel inspired to write Animal Books with your students! If you’d like to get ALL of the templates that I use to make these books in my classroom, you can find them here!