Thursday, April 19, 2012

Farm Animal Reports

Hello, or should I say, "Howdy!" I've been wrapped up in a farm unit - and have been having so much fun. I've been reading lots of farm books to my students over the past 3 weeks (as part of my Houghton Mifflin required curriculum). It's one of the best units I teach because the students LOVE animals and there is so much to learn about animals. The books I've read over and over are: Mouse's Birthday and Cows in the Kitchen. They are super cute stories and there are lots of opportunities for students to chime in and say the animal sounds.

In the afternoons we have ELD or English Language Development. My class has been working on learning the difference between singular and plural and how that applies to animals. We created this chart:

We practiced naming animals and learned what their babies are called. We worked on describing them using the sentence frame: A ____ has ____ legs. We also matched the animals' pictures with word cards. These great pictures are from my ELL department. 

Later during writing we worked on a mini-animal report. We began by doing an interactive writing lesson (that means students and I took turns writing. I wanted them to work on using complete sentences using these sentence frames: 
I know about __________.
They have __________. 
They can ___________.

We did cows together, then I modeled how to use the sentence frames with "pigs." After that I sent students out to begin on their own. 

After 3 days of work there were some amazing animal reports!

This is what the cover of our books look like. I have no idea where the cover art came from. Probably a Mailbox magazine or something similar.

I know about cows. They have udders. They can eat. Their babies are called calfs. 
You can make milk out of cows. Cows make cheese. Cows make a lot of things. Cows live on a farm. 

I know about ponies. They have legs. They have hay. They can neigh.

I know about pigs. They have bacon. They can roll in mud. And they say "oink."

I know about horses. They have foals. They can neigh. They can run. They can have tails. 

I know about hens. They have beaks. They can lay eggs. Their babies name is a chick. My favorite animal is a hen.

I know about butterflies. They have wings. They can fly.

I know about pigs. They have piglets. They can walk.
I was very proud of my students and they were too. My high students continued on to write more beyond the required sentence frames. My average and struggling students were able to use the frames and sound out the missing words they needed to complete their sentences. You might also notice that we did a mini-lesson on labeling our pictures (a diagram of sorts). Many students are moving on to writing about other animals. Right now about 70% of the class is done with their first report and were able to do this activity independently. The remaining students will need to work in a small group to be able to complete this as they are struggling readers and need more assistance. 


  1. I just found your blog! I love your animals reports!

    Mrs. Krull
    Of Primary Importance

  2. Hi Mrs. Krull! I'm glad you found me. I have to blog hop over to check yours out. :-)


Leave Your Thoughts Here