My students love to learn about animals and so I thought it would be great to teach an informative writing unit in conjunction with learning about animal habitats. I taught about six different habitats, focusing on five animals from each. It was a success!
I've also just uploaded a freebie that includes several pages from the desert portion of the big unit (some posters, graphic organizers, and writing paper).
I'm linking up with Rebecca from Teaching First for her April Freebies.
Here's how I taught my unit:
First I taught about the characteristics of each habitat and we talked about what kinds of animals could live there and why. I made these posters to add to our bulletin board:
I made each student an Animal Habitat Packet. In my unit I have 6 different covers (one for each habitat) so you could make a separate packet for each habitat or make one big packet and have students choose a cover. Inside the packet I put one graphic organizer and one writing page for each animal.
Each day I read a book about our focus animal (I collected a book for each animal we focused on). As I read the book I had students fill out the graphic organizer about the animal's habitat, diet, and an interesting fact. Then they used the graphic organizer to help them write their paragraph. We did the first few animals together as a class, and then as they got the hang of it they completed their paragraphs independently.
I used read-alouds to give students the information they needed, but you could also use the internet or have students do the research on their own. I also included fact sheets in my unit for the 30 animals that are focused on.
They loved learning about the animals and I loved seeing their progression with writing informative paragraphs!
After we finished our unit we had some visitors from a local aquarium come and show us some rain forest animals in real life. Their little faces were priceless as they got to see and touch the animals. It was the perfect end to our unit!