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Lesson Plan

Writing Reports in Kindergarten? Yes!

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Writing Reports in Kindergarten? Yes!

Grade K
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Two to ten 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Devon Hamner

Devon Hamner

Grand Island, Nebraska

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Student Objectives

Report 1: Documentation of a Science Exploration

Report 2: Picture Journaling

Report 3: Riddle Writing Combined with Art Productions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • participate in research.

  • record their discoveries.

  • share their information (reports) with others.

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Report 1: Documentation of a Science Exploration

Example: An Apple Report

  1. Students may work alone, in pairs, or in small groups to do their explorations and record their findings in this report. Each student will need an apple.

  2. Each student will need a copy of the report form.

  3. Read through the reporting form with the students. Refer to the Five Senses chart to review how we learn about things through our five senses. They will be using all five senses: seeing the apple, touching (and measuring the apple), smelling it, tasting it, and hearing the crunch as they bite into it. They will record the color they see and a picture of the apple, the measurements they take, and the way the apple tastes.

  4. Using the Vermont Apples Website, have students try to identify their apples by variety.

  5. The students can then report their discoveries by sharing their reports with other members of the class, with other people in your school, and with their parents when they take their reports home. These reports could also be set up at an educational fair for students to share both their reports and their process of exploration.

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Report 2: Picture Journaling

Example: An Animal Report

  1. Introduce your students to the nonfiction picture books you have assembled. Take picture walks through a sample of the books you have collected. Encourage the students to browse through the books to decide what animal they wish to choose for further research as the topic of their reports.

  2. Assemble the children around the chart tablet labeled: What We Wonder About and Want to Know About Animals. Brainstorm with the children some things that they want to learn about their animals. Then star the items that are general enough to include all of the chosen animals that will be researched. (Our lists usually include: what the animal looks like, what it looked like when it was a baby, where its home is, and what it eats.)

  3. Prepare journal pages to address those topics. I use the pictures and page numbers so they can make connections between themselves and their animals. For instance on a sheet labeled "My animal lives ____" I would include a picture of a house).

  4. Send the information about this project home to parents, inviting them to help their children assemble information and learn about their chosen animals. You might also include a trip to the school or community library to seek out additional books for them to use in researching their animals.

  5. Once each child has chosen several books, arrange for upper grade study buddies to come and read to your students. Two 20-minute periods usually work best. Then have your students draw and write about what they learned on their journals pages. Encourage them to write about what they have drawn. (Children may dictate, label, or write about their pictures.)

  6. It may work well to have the computer center in your room set up with the bookmarked Websites about animals, or you may want to go to the computer lab to provide better access for this resource.

  7. You may also have videos that the children can access.

  8. As students complete the pages of their reports, they add them to their file folders. When all pages are completed, each student's journal is stapled together.

  9. Students then make a clay representation of their animals.

  10. Return to your chart: What We Wonder About and Want to Know About Animals. Have students share informally what they learned from their research and record in a section entitled: What We Learned About Animals. Encourage students to dialogue and do some comparing and contrasting of their chosen animals.

  11. If desired, use the Animal Inquiry Map to explore students ideas and findings.

  12. Students share their reports with one another, other classes, their parents during conferences or an open house, and/or at an educational fair.

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Report 3: Riddle Writing Combined with Art Productions

Example: Turning Animal Reports into Riddles

  1. Introduce your students to the nonfiction picture books you have assembled. Take picture walks through a sample of the books you have collected. Encourge the students to browse through the books to decide what animal they wish to choose for further research as the topic of their reports.

  2. Once an animal has been chosen, the students need time to research their animals. It may be helpful to meet with upper-grade study buddies to help the kindergartners read their books, review computer sites, or view videos about their animals. The students should be directed to find 3-5 interesting facts about their animals. They may record what they learn on blank sheets of paper.

  3. Introduce the riddle books and cards:

    • Share the riddles.

    • Discuss what makes good clues: giving you enough information to allow others to make a good guess without telling them the answer.

    • Model writing clues about animals (Choose animals that no one has chosen for their own riddle reports.)

    • Practice writing riddles as a group.
  4. Direct the children to look at their animal journals or the information they have collected about their animals and think about the clues they want to use in their own riddles.

  5. Meet with one student at a time at the computer. They dictate their clues while you type them and print them out. (I do this during learning center time.)

  6. The children share their clues with one another. Some of the students may discover that their clues are too general. They should be encouraged to revise their clues and print out new ones. They may also try these out on friends to see if they are better.

  7. When everyone has their list of clues typed in large print on 9 X 5 inch sheets of computer paper, assemble the riddles:

    • Each student chooses a 9 X 12 inch of colored construction paper and folds it in half in a hamburger fold (9 X 6).

    • Glue their clues on the front side (fold is at the top).

    • Open the card and have the students draw a picture of their animal inside. Each student should label the picture with the animal's name.

    • Each student then makes an art production of their animal using any of the supplies listed above. Remind them to make their pictures look as much like their animal as possible.

    • Display these riddles. Surround the riddles with the art productions, but do not put the riddles beside their matching art. (We displayed ours in the hallway outside of our classroom. As other students came down the hallway, they would stop and read the riddles, guess the answers, flip open the cards to see if their guesses were correct, and find the art that represented that animal.)

    • We created this display for our educational fair. This can be combined with the animal journals and clay reproductions. After looking at the riddles, guests can come into the classroom and hear the students tell about their animals, show their journals, and show their clay representation and any other artifacts they have collected about their animals.

Examples of Animal Riddles

  1. My animal is a pet that lives in a house with us and sleeps in a basket.

  2. Its babies are called kittens, and they drink milk from their mother. They are born alive from their mother's body.

  3. It eats special food we buy for it, but once it caught and ate a mouse.

  4. It needs shots and goes to the vet when it is sick.

    Can you guess my animal?

  1. My animal lives on a farm.

  2. Its babies are called calves.

  3. It eats grass in the pasture when the weather is nice, but lives in the barn and eats grain and hay in the winter.

  4. It gives milk that the farmer sells to the dairy. When the milk leaves the dairy, it goes to stores so we can buy it and take it home.

    Can you guess my animal?

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

Students should be taught to self-assess through the use of a rubric. The student and the teacher conference together to score the rubric.

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