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Kindergarten Writing Lessons: Animals

Writing and research are among the most intimidating things to do in kindergarten, so hopefully, these kindergarten writing lessons will make things easier!   Research involves a great deal of reading, comprehension, and vocabulary.  And then you have to be able to translate that into writing.  That is a daunting task for kindergartners and all early childhood classrooms. Daunting is not impossible, though. Our zoo Animals Research Project makes kindergarten writing lessons fun and engaging! And it’s aligned with the science of reading!

kindergarten writing lessons zoo animals research project

Kindergarten Writing Lessons: Zoo Animals Research Project

We use read-alouds and videos for our research.  We use graphic organizers to record our research and learning.  Then, we used the organizers to complete our research journal.  And finally, we use all of those resources to write!  Not only are we learning to research and write, but we’re also meeting science standards as we learn about animals, habitats, and adaptations!

kindergarten writing lessons:  animals

Kindergarten Writing Lessons: Animals: Research Project

For each animal, we do a read aloud and for some animals, we watch a video. This is how we conduct our research. As we read, we record our learning and information on our graphic organizer. We complete the graphic organizer during the read-aloud. This allows us to focus on the learning. If we wait until after the read-aloud, it becomes an assessment, and we don’t want that. We’re also building language and do explicit vocabulary instruction, which is a cornerstone of our TKS research projects.

The students then use the graphic organizers to help with their writing. This is also when we work on writing instruction. We model conventions of writing, punctuation, etc. We encourage students to write on their own if they’re ready, but they’re also encouraged to use the graphic organizers. Some students might write on their own or some might copy from the graphic organizer. Those are both ok! Meet students where they are!

Kindergarten Writing Lessons: Animals: Labeling

To bring in explicit phonics instruction and learning about adaptations, we label the parts of the animals. We define each part of the animal, and the kids explain how the parts help the animals and how they are adapted to their habitats.

Kindergarten Writing Lessons: Animals Culminating Task

Students complete a culminating task at the end of our Zoo Animals Research Project. This allows students to apply what they’ve learned in a fun way. The task is to choose an animal for our zoo (an animal not already at the zoo) and design an exhibit for the animal. The exhibit must have the correct habitat and be designed for animal adaptations. They also create a sign for the exhibit with information about the animal.

Our Zoo Animals Research Project has everything you need to learn about animals:

Included activities:

  1. Schema maps
  2. KWL charts
  3. Suggested read alouds
  4. Graphic organizers for 22 different animals
  5. Labeling activities
  6. Habitat sort
  7. Zoo exhibit design task
  8. Writing activities and rubrics
  9. Vocabulary
  10. Math and literacy centers

Zoo Animals Art Projects

Art projects are a must in any classroom, so we do fun art projects for each animal. This might a directed drawing, a handprint painting project or another type of art project. I model each step and the students complete their own project. No templates or patterns are used.

Animals Snacks

We also make fun, simple animal snacks to celebrate our learning!

The lion snack is two graham crackers with peanut butter in between the two crackers. Students insert pretzel sticks for the mane and add chocolate chips for the eyes and nose and a pretzel for the muzzle. The second snack is animal parfait: yogurt, granola, and animal crackers.

Animals Green Screen Pictures

My class loves using our green screen so students get to choose their favorite animal and pose for a picture!

For more resources, check out these creations:

For more resources and ideas, check out these blog posts:

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