Animal Research Unit - Project Based Learning

Rated 4.91 out of 5, based on 30 reviews
30 Ratings
Desktop Learning Adventures
Grade Levels
5th - 8th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
28 pages
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What educators are saying

My students loved this project based learning! They learned so much about different animals and always ask when our next project will be.
Also included in
  1. Animal RAFT- a Project-based Research Unit and Animals to the Rescue- a Readers’ Theatre Play About Survival & Smart Choices are now bundled! This natural pairing of resources has students first researching and presenting animals through different RAFT choices in an end-of-unit Museum Walk. Add
    Price $9.00Original Price $11.48Save $2.48


In this project-based learning unit, kids focus on animal adaptations and their habitats. Animal RAFT Research Unit is a two-week Language Arts-Science animal research unit that allows students the opportunity to use their research by applying it to one of five different RAFT choices.

RAFT is an acronym for Role Audience Format Topic. Students choose a role they want to assume and, based on that role, are given a format and topic for a specific audience. RAFTs are great ways to embed differentiated instruction in your classroom.

Using their information, they can publish a magazine, write an animal tale, participate in ANIMAL COURT (persuasive writing- verbal), design a Museum Diorama or Poster (spatial learners), and more!

The culminating event is a Museum Walk, where they present their projects, with a chance to leave their animal tracks (feedback) and evaluate their work. There are 3 different scoring rubrics available, one for letter grades, another using 4-3-2 scale and the third, a student self-evaluation continuum.

This unit was designed to complement my district’s Outdoor Lab School program in Colorado, but is easily adapted to use with any habitat or life zone. I’ve included the background information for the Colorado Life Zones, as an example, or your main focus. Also included, extensive teacher notes and suggestions, all handouts and graphic organizers needed to take notes and plan presentations.

CCSS addressed: 4.RIT.9, 10 4.W.2, 3, 4, 6, 7 4.SL.2, 3, 4 4.L.1, 2

Grades 5-8 RIT.1, 2, 7 W.1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 SL.1, 2, 4, 5 L.1, 2, 3

Animals to the Rescue! A Readers' Theatre Play About Outdoor Survival & Smart Choices is a good companion to Animal RAFT. And now these two products are bundled together for additional savings. Follow the link and take a peek!


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Total Pages
28 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.
Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.


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