This packet is all about animal adaptations! It can be easily modified for any type of animal research project or writing. I created this to fit Ohio Science standards, so it involves a little bit of specialized content for Ohio animals. It is CCSS aligned and my students absolutely loved it! It is scaffolded to support different student levels and set expectations.
First, animals are explored through their ways of survival and adaptations. I read my students books and played games to demonstrate adaptations. Next, as a class we explored the differences between tortoises and turtles (I had two live animals for students to research.) This served as a whole class model for how and what to research.
The students then chose their own animal and research them at their own pace. The writing paper afterwards was given to students (I made many copies of it for them) so they could write a nonfiction story about their animal. Students use graphic organizers to record information and use it to help their writing. A glossary page is also included.
When I used this with my students, I brought in my pet tortoise and another teacher's turtle to have the students compare hands on. We worked in groups to create an entire class book describing these animals different adaptations. This served as a whole class model of their own independent nonfiction research book about a chosen animal.
After that, students work in groups to create a play involving their animals. I had my students paint a habitat on a big piece of butcher paper, create pop sickle stick animals, and perform for everyone. Students have to really think about their animal's adaptations and interactions in the wild.
My kids loved this small integrated unit!