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The Rain Forest

Unit Summary: Being new to the first grade level at Cowan Road Elementary this year, I have noticed distinct deficits in the area of research skills. After further discussion with veteran first grade teachers, our students historically score low in the area of research. It is my opinion that further practice in this area will improve scores in this area. This unit has been designed to give students the opportunity to use research skills in creating a report (students will choose from a variety of formats) about rainforest animals. I feel that the students will enjoy this unit yet they will enjoy the unit and learn essential skills necessary for research skills.

Theme/Subject: Writing/Research/Science Big Idea: Animals have basic needs Grade: 1st

Number of Days: 10 days Course/Grade Level: First Grade

Designers: Lesley Metts; Sandi Gaston

Unit Summary: Students will identify characteristics of the Rainforest. Students will choose a Rainforest related topic, conduct research, and develop a project based on that topic Stage 1- Desired Results
Established Goal (s): ELA1W a Writes texts of appropriate length to address a topic ELA 1 W c Revises writing using peer editing ELA1W1 k Uses a variety of resources to gather information ELA1W1 l Uses appropriate punctuation and capitalization in writing S1L1 b Identify the basic needs of an animal Standards for the 21st Century Learner: 1.1.8 Demonstrates mastery of technology tools for accessing information and pursuing inquiry. 1.2.2 Demonstrates confidence and self-direction by making independent choices in the selection of resources and information. 1.4.4 Seeks appropriate help when it is needed. 2.1.6 Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and technology skills to create products that express new understandings. 4.3.2 Recognize that resources are created for a variety of purposes.

Understandings: The students will understand: Writing is a process Research is the process of gathering information on a topic The rainforest is a unique habitat Animals have basic needs

Essential Questions: What does a good sentence look like? What strategies do good writers use? Why should we save we save the rainforest? How can we save the rainforest? What are the basic needs of rain forest animal? (student selected)

Knowledge Students will know: Encyclopedias, periodicals, and the Internet are reference tools used to gather research Thinking maps help organize information A good paragraph has a topic sentence and supporting details Animals need air, water, food, and shelter to survive in any habitat

Skills The student will: Write a paragraph about their rainforest animal using correct sentence structure Use the writing process to edit Gather information about their animal using encyclopedias, the internet, and other reference materials Compare and contrast the basic needs of rainforest animals

Misunderstandings: All rainforest animals are brightly colored All rainforest animals are very different from animals that live near us Rainforest animals have different needs The rainforest is big so there is enough we dont have to worry about being careful with it.

Possible considerations: to differentiate skills, including advanced skills for more capable learners and more concrete and scaffolded skills for struggling learners. Essential Questions and Understandings are not differentiated.

Stage 2- Assessment Evidence Diagnostic Assessment(s) (To determine students readiness (based upon required knowledge and skills), interests, and learning profiles): Rainforest sounds and resources discussion KWL tree map - What do you know about rainforests? What instructional adjustments, groupings or options will be made as a result of the diagnostic evidence: Small group instruction to build prior knowledge Interest inventory for project options Summative Performance Assessment Task(s) for Understandings Using G.R.A.S.P.S.: Goals: The student will use the writing process as well as research skills to complete a project of their choice about a rainforest animal. Role(s): The student will be a scientist analyzing and researching a problem. Audience: Kindergarten students who do not know about rainforests and their animals. Situation: You are a biologist/scientist who has studied the rainforest as a habitat. You will decide which animal of the rainforest interests you the most. You will create a final product on your animal to appeal to kindergarten students who are unaware of the rainforest as a habitat. You may choose what format your final product will be. Product or Performance: Students will choose between a written report, commercial/poster, or a glogster (online poster). Standards or Criteria for Evaluation/Traits for Rubrics: All projects must show evidence of proper research and use of the writing process. How will the product be differentiated to provide options for students readiness, interest and/or learning profiles? Students are given three choices for a summative project. Each project appeals to a different readiness level and learning style. Students can choose the project that best meets their learning needs.

Performance Task: Each child will choose a rainforest animal and research that animal. Throughout the unit, children will gather information on their animal, including facts and pictures. The thinking map will outline the basic needs of the rainforest animal. At the conclusion of the unit, students will use the writing process to organize their research into a final product. Students will select the product type that best fits their learning style. Students will share their project with the class and compare and contrast the needs of their animal with their peers using a double bubble thinking map. Other Evidence: Class will create a model of the rainforest in the classroom using items brought from home and art projects. Writing Samples Layers of the Rainforest Flip Book Stage 3- Learning Plan Learning Activities: Teaching-Learning Activities Based upon W.H.E.R.E.T.O.: (WHERETO represents the purpose of lessons, not the sequence) Where are we (students point of view) headed? How will the unit be introduced? duced to the unit by drawing on their prior knowledge of the rainforests (or forests). Prior knowledge will be discussed and expanded upon by using a KWL chart. How will I hook students to engage their interests? e a CD of rainforest sounds (rain, monkeys, insects, etc.) is playing.

Equip and Explore: All lessons will include a variety of learning styles. Each day will focus on a new skill and process. Students who do not understand will be given an opportunity to work in a small group or one on one with the teacher to further their understanding. Revise/Rethink/ Reflect/ Revisit: Students will keep a Reflection Journal throughout the unit to record their observations, knowledge, and feelings concerning the unit. Evaluation/self/evaluation/: Self Assessment and Evaluation will happen daily. Students will record their understandings in their Reflection Journal and also be provided with opportunities to complete Self Checklists or rubrics. Students will also be assessed by the teacher on specific tasks to check for understanding. Tailoring: Summative project will be chosen by the student allowing the student to choose a project that best represents their learning style and demonstrates their understanding. Organized: 10 days of instruction with activities outlined below: Week 1 What the teacher does What the student does Monday Elements: (KWL) for rainforests. Scavenger Hunt Book Step Inside the Rainforest. by the rainforest (students will have little big books to color, read, and use as a reference throughout the theme) Tuesday Elements: and discuss the many animals that call the rainforest home understory, canopy, emergent the elephant

floor

Elephant using graphic organizers graphic organizers Wednesday Elements:

est has layers

ecall facts to write a paragraph about the spider monkey complete a fact sheet on Spider Monkeys Create spider monkey to hang in the classroom rainforest model

Spider Monkey using graphic organizers Model writing a paragraph using graphic organizers Thursday Elements: understory)

layers

ecall facts to write a paragraph about the toucan rainforest model

Toucan graphic organizers graphic organizers Friday Elements: Morpho Butterfly graphic organizers graphic organizers Week 2 Monday Elements: rainforest animals from the PowerPoint to research on their own Tuesday Elements: Rainforest by Helen Cowcher rainforest plete the What If writing activity (What if the rainforest was destroyed)

the Morpho Butterfly classroom rainforest model

lip book of the layers of the rainforest rainforest in the flip book

Wednesday Elements:

The Great Kapok Tree

Thursday Elements:

Friday Elements: animals using a Venn Diagram

Modifications: EIP Students:

Balanced Assessments: Check all that apply. Selected Response Constructed Response Performance Assessment Informal Assessment

Challenge: detailing the necessities for that animals survival plete Tic-Tac-Toe contract factual information

Rainforest Research Written Report Grading Rubric Name:_______________ Topic:_____________ Standard/Element 1 2 3


Writes sentence caption for each picture. Uses appropriate punctuation and capitalization in writing Uses correct spacing between words
Project does not include a sentence caption. Does not consistently use correct punctuation and capitalization; numerous errors Does not consistently use correct spacing between words Project includes a sentence caption for each picture. Consistently uses correct punctuation and capitalization with minimal errors Uses correct spacing between words consistently throughout paragraph with minimal errors Consistently uses subjectverb agreement in writing with minimal errors Paragraph is easy to read; satisfactory handwriting Uses two different reference materials to locate information Includes two interesting facts. Report is written in first grade vocabulary and is easily read by student Project includes more than one sentence for each picture. Consistently uses correct punctuation and capitalization with no errors Uses correct spacing between words consistently throughout paragraph with no errors Consistently uses subjectverb agreement in writing with no errors Paragraph is easy to read; excellent handwriting Uses more than two reference materials to locate information Includes three or more interesting facts. Report is written in above first grade vocabulary and is easily read by student

Writes complete sentences with subject-verb agreement Prints legibly Uses databases, Internet resources, and books to locate information Includes interesting facts about topic Wrote report in own words and can read report

Does not consistently write complete sentences with subject verb agreement Paragraph is difficult to read; poor handwriting Uses less than two reference materials to locate information Does not include an interesting fact. Report is not written in first grade vocabulary and is not easily read by student

Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rainforest Research Informational Poster/Commercial Grading Rubric Name:________________ Topic:__________ Standard/Element 1 2 3


Writes sentence caption for each picture. Uses appropriate punctuation and capitalization in writing Uses correct spacing between words
Project does not include a sentence caption. Does not consistently use correct punctuation and capitalization; numerous errors Does not consistently use correct spacing between words Project includes a sentence caption for each picture. Consistently uses correct punctuation and capitalization with minimal errors Uses correct spacing between words consistently throughout paragraph with minimal errors Consistently uses subjectverb agreement in writing with minimal errors Paragraph is easy to read; satisfactory handwriting Uses two different reference materials to locate information Includes two interesting facts. Report is written in first grade vocabulary and is easily read by student Project includes more than one sentence for each picture. Consistently uses correct punctuation and capitalization with no errors Uses correct spacing between words consistently throughout paragraph with no errors Consistently uses subjectverb agreement in writing with no errors Paragraph is easy to read; excellent handwriting Uses more than two reference materials to locate information Includes three or more interesting facts. Report is written in above first grade vocabulary and is easily read by student

Writes complete sentences with subject-verb agreement Prints legibly Uses databases, Internet resources, and books to locate information Includes interesting facts about topic Wrote report in own words and can read report

Does not consistently write complete sentences with subject verb agreement Paragraph is difficult to read; poor handwriting Uses less than two reference materials to locate information Does not include an interesting fact. Report is not written in first grade vocabulary and is not easily read by student

Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name:_______________ Standard/Element 1
Writes sentence caption for each picture. Uses appropriate punctuation and capitalization in writing Uses correct spacing between words

Rainforest Research Glogster Grading Rubric Topic:________ 2 3


Project includes a sentence caption for each picture. Consistently uses correct punctuation and capitalization with minimal errors Uses correct spacing between words consistently throughout paragraph with minimal errors Consistently uses subjectverb agreement in writing with minimal errors One of the following is met, but not both: can be read, pictures match topic Uses two different reference materials to locate information Includes two interesting facts. Report is written in first grade vocabulary and is easily read by student Project includes more than one sentence for each picture. Consistently uses correct punctuation and capitalization with no errors Uses correct spacing between words consistently throughout paragraph with no errors Consistently uses subjectverb agreement in writing with no errors Can be read and pictures match topic Uses more than two reference materials to locate information Includes three or more interesting facts. Report is written in above first grade vocabulary and is easily read by student

Project does not include a sentence caption. Does not consistently use correct punctuation and capitalization; numerous errors Does not consistently use correct spacing between words

Writes complete sentences with subject-verb agreement Good color, graphics selected Uses databases, Internet resources, and books to locate information Includes interesting facts about topic Wrote facts in own words and can share glogster

Does not consistently write complete sentences with subject verb agreement Hard to read because of color choices or pictures that do not match topic Uses less than two reference materials to locate information Does not include an interesting fact. Report is not written in first grade vocabulary and is not easily shared by student

Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________