Friday, November 20, 2009

Report Writing in Primary Grades

This past month we studied Africa and its desert areas as part of our Theme. One Language Arts activity I tied into this unit was research and report writing. Since this sounds like a scary thing to try out in the first term of grade one, I will show you what I did! It takes some time and planning, but the results are GREAT!

First of all, we did a report on elephants as an entire class. (We chose elephants because we were using our Kidogo Project (an opportunities for students to take home an African package, complete with a stuffy, a book, and postcards that each student has to make that night). We read one book, collected facts and wrote them on chart paper. We cut these "big " facts into strips and glued them onto other pieces of chart paper titled, Home, Appearance, Food, and Other. This was our "practice report writing."

Our next job was to choose a desert animal to research. It was a unanimous vote for camels.

Next, I prepared a page that listed those same research topics (home, appearance, food and other), followed by some blank spots. Along with their grade four buddies, my grade one students looked at some website about camels. The grade four buddies would read some of the information to the grade one buddies, and together they would write down one fact they learned under each heading.

After that, I compiled all these facts (and a few more) onto lined paper. I photocopied this onto different coloured paper, for my four table groups to use.
Then each table group also got a matching coloured pocket folder.
I cut all these sentences into strips. Their next job was to read the sentences and place them in the correct topic pocket. (I have a few high readers that were able to help out two groups, I led one, and my EA led one. In the past, I have also assigned parent helpers to come in during centre time to do this same job.)
Here are the strips in the pockets. . .
Then, each day we did one topic. they got their "report paper," pulled out the sentence strips that went along with the topic, and chose one to start copying. Each student had to copy two sentences, and they could do more if more fit or if they had extra time. They also got directed drawing pages about camels so they could make a picture that matched what the sentences said.Here is a final copy of the cover. I led them in a directed drawing activity to draw a camel on the cover of their report. . .
Here are some examples of the inside pages:
One page at the end that we are not quite finished with yet, is one called "praise." On this page we will write a few sentences of our own in praise or prayer to God about how He created the African camel so unique and able to survive in desert conditions (more like a journal or prayer journal activity). We did an "Eric Carle" piece of artwork about camels, (hopefully I will post about that soon!) and this report will hang beside their artwork on a hallway bulletin board to show the school the great work we did!!!

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