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Animal Reports In Kindergarten And First Grade

Animal reports in kindergarten and first grade can be challenging.

BUT…

They don’t HAVE to be. You just need some information about animals, a place to gather facts and somewhere to write it all out. I have some ideas that can help with differentiated options.

Just keep reading!

Gathering Information

When doing animal reports in kindergarten or 1st grade, gathering information is by far the hardest part. Informational books are usually higher than your students’ current reading level. You can’t just tell them to get a book and read about the animal and GO TO WORK.

Here are a few options that could really help:

  • Have everyone do the SAME animal and YOU can read the book (or books) to the kids and gather information together. I love to introduce informational writing using this method. However, kids love animals and everyone seems to want to learn about their own animal. We usually do this unit in the spring so they have had some exposure to collecting facts. But if this is your first time teaching informational writing then doing the first one together is a great way to start.
  • Another way you could do this is by asking each student which animal they would like to study. Have a list of student names and next to each name write the name of the animal. Have your librarian help you or go in before or after school and check out one book for each student. I like it to be under my name so that I can see the list all at once and have a little more control over the books. I also make sure I get them back to the library on time this way. We just keep them in a central location and I pass them out each day that we need them (this part is only a day or two). Then I have 4th or 5th graders come and read the books to the students (one on one) and the kinders or 1st graders will tell two or three facts that they learned about their animal.

Brainstorming Facts

To gather facts for the animal reports I like to have my students illustrate them on paper. Then they will label so they remember what they drew. Sometimes students can remember some of the longest and most obscure facts…and those may be hard to remember. So I will try to discretely write down their fact so that tomorrow we both remember what was said. You could even write it on a sticky note that you keep nearby. This won’t be for all students…just a few (well…maybe just a few).

Writing A Report

Honestly, as kids are just learning about informational writing you can leave it at the illustrating phase. However, as they progress with their writing skills and you want to take it up a notch have them write their facts in complete sentences on writing paper. Then have them illustrate each fact. They could even do a concluding sentence: I know some facts about pigs.

All of these things could be done with library books and some plain paper and/or writing paper. However, if you want something extra check out the following resources:

This one is the Spring Informational Writing Bundle and it has PowerPoints with information about each topic. It also has lots of planning pages, colored pictures with words and pages to write a formal report.

animal reports informational writing spring bundle cover and link

If you are wanting reports that are geared toward specific animals these reports are perfect. They have planning pages and two types of reports (one in the shape of the animal and the other is a one page report that could be turned into a class book).

animal reports mega bundle cover and link

If you are wanting to know more about how I teach the writing process check out this blog post:

Teaching Kindergarteners To Write Is No Fairy Tale

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