Domesticated animals, whether in homes or on farms, are usually an important topic of study in lower elementary grades. Younger children learn about horses, chickens, pigs, cats, and other very cool animals. But middle school teachers know that Grade 6-8 students still have a great curiosity in all kinds of animals and enjoy learning more interesting and unusual things about them.
This resource was created to address that middle grades curiosity and to allow valuable practice in important reading and writing skills for middle school students. The two reading assessments and accompanying writing task are designed to take about five class periods in total to complete, and this easy-to-use, "no prep and printable" bundle makes a great mini-unit for teachers who need something engaging between their longer units of study or near the end of the quarter or semester. I have also included a suggested plan for using the materials within a five-day week of English lessons. Please look at the Preview to see examples of the passages, assessment questions, and the writing task.
Included in this resource:
1) A 950-word informational passage about the history and domestication of the horse written at a grade 6-8 reading level. The article is titled “Running Free: Horses” and is divided into five sub-sections. The text is followed by 30 varied assessment questions written to align with RI.4.5, RI.5.1, RI.5.4, and RH.6-8.8. Answers provided.
2) An 1150-word informational passage about the history and domestication of the chicken written at a grade 6-8 reading level. The article is titled “Chickens: The World’s Favorite Bird” and is divided into five sub-sections similar to the article on horses. The text is followed by 22 varied assessment questions written to align with RI.4.3, RI.4.5, and RI.5.4.Answers provided.
3) A domesticated animal writing task for students to complete after reading the two articles above. They are asked to select another domesticated animal (list provided) and complete a written report that is based in writing style and formatting on the two model articles they read. The task will require research and investigation to complete well, and clear guidance is given to the students on what to include in their five written sub-sections.