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Writing and Research with a Manatee Theme
Grade Level(s): 3-5
By: Stephanie, k-5 resource teacher

This two week multidisciplinary unit incorporates technology, research methods, and written expression through creative writing activities and friendly letters--all through the theme of manatees.

Materials:

  • Access to internet and printer
  • Notebook paper
  • Pencils
  • Roll paper (for hallway display)
  • Friendly Letter example or format

Plan:

Unit Lesson Plans
  • Lesson One - Familiarize students with Internet as research tool.
  • Lesson Two - Introduce research topic of manatees, students form questions.
  • Lesson Three - Students work in groups to answer questions.
  • Lesson Four - Students write "Tale From a Manatee."
  • Lesson Five - Students write a friendly letter.
  • Lesson Six - Students create a hallway display to show what they have learned.
Lesson Plan One: (two days)

Goal- To familiarize students with the Internet as a research tool and on line library.

Objectives:
  1. Students will understand internet terms like search engine, web site, Internet, book marking, URL, WWW, scroll, and any others you feel important.
  2. Students will demonstrate understanding of basic internet usage after teacher demonstration and guided practice by finding various random facts in groups and as individuals.
Lesson Plan Two: (One Day)

Goal- To introduce the research topic of Manatees.

Objectives:
  1. Students will create a "What we know" list about manatees as a whole group.
  2. Students will then have a "question web" demonstrated on the board before they create their own question web that will list "What they want to know" about manatees.
  3. Class will combine individual question webs to create one web to use for research.
Lesson Plan Three: (3 days)

Goal- Students will work in groups and as individual to find answers to questions from the class question web about manatees.

Objectives:
  1. Students will work in groups of three to five productively and efficiently.
  2. As a group, the students will tilize the internet as a research tool to find and record information about manatees.
  3. Students will gather data and combine it to result in a presentation of their findings by the third day of research.
  4. Students will present their findings on manatees. NOTE: Teacher should assign each group with specific questions from the question web. Each group should have different questions and know exactly what they are looking for in their research.
Lesson Plan Four: (One Day)

Goal- To encourage creative writing and strengthen written expression abilities.

Objectives:
  1. Students will write a "Tale From A Manatee", taking the view point of a manatee. Children will be encouraged to use details from the information researched about manatees and their habitat, migration, dangers, etc.
Lesson Plan Five: (Two Days)

Goal- To introduce and practice the Friendly Letter Format.

Objectives:
  1. The students will choose an organization that protects manatees and write them a friendly letter, thankng them for their support and efforts in the save the manatee cause.
Lesson Plan Six: (One Day)

Goal: To summarize the manatee unit and create a hallway display of the creative writing activities, facts they found, as well as drawings and internet print out pictures to share with the rest of the school.

Objectives:
  1. Students will write a summary papragraph about the unit and what they learned, liked or disliked.
  2. Students will draw a picture of a manatee to add to the display.

Comments:

This is an easy way to service resource students with a learning difference in written expression in the whole classroom, and all students benefit from the unit. Try going in to the regular classroom for thirty/fourty-five minutes a day and team teach with the regular educator. Between the two of you, plenty of assistance can be provided to those students who need the additional help and they will experience success in the classroom. Pull out asssitance can still be provided as needed at other times during the day.

 


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