If you are anything like me you DO NOT enjoy reptiles, especially snakes. Kids on the other hand LOVE them and love to learn about them. Although they are not my favorite they are definitely fascinating. Here is a sneak peek into our week on ….
On the first day we learn about the characteristics of a reptile. The week before when we were studying amphibians many children named reptiles as amphibians. This was a great time to clarify the difference. We read our mini book, completed the dig deeper, labeled, sorted, and wrote about them. This all looks like a lot but it goes rather quickly.
During this time, I also create charts with the children. Here is an example below. You can see at the bottom we compared the two.
On the second day, we read a book that talked more specifically about different reptiles.
On this day, we made a can, have, and are chart together. This was our pre-writing for our informative writing on reptiles.
Whenever possible, I like to read both fiction and non-fiction together. On the third day, we looked closely at turtles. For whole group guided reading, we read “The Foolish Tortoise” by Eric Carle. We completed recall and text to self activities. Then for whole group writing, I read “All About Turtles” by Jim Arnosky. We used this book to gather our facts for our informative writing.
On the fourth day we did something a little different. Our focus was on comparing and contrasting. I researched and made a mini booklet that compares crocodiles and alligators. I learned a lot too about these similar reptiles. We began the lesson by reading the mini booklet. We had our highlighters out and highlighted the key words.
After reading and learning about them, I let them work in groups to compare and contrast the two. They love working together. The mini book was a great reference with the the key words highlighted and ready to go. Here is a sample below of what they worked on.
Not too camera shy in my room!
Finally, we ended the lesson altogether creating a class chart.
As a final culminating activity, I put a hands on sort in my science center. I also cut and laminated the cards on this chart so students could sort the cards during our rotations. I like to put things that we have already learned in our science center because this is independent work time. This is when I meet with small groups and I want them to be confident and be able to work on the skills without assistance.
On our final day learning about reptiles, we do research. This is by far their favorite day. I copy about 7 packets for each animal. We gather together and I share with them the different animals they can research about. I let them pick what interests them the most, very motivating. Then we split up into our groups and begin. We have a class set of Chrome Books for research help. They work independently and seek help when needed. WARNING: It is a little noisy, but I love it! They are learning, sharing, and interacting in a positive way! Here are a few pictures of us in action.
I forgot to mention it gets a bit messy too!
When they are done, the results are beautiful. I also made a craft for each animal. When they finish they get to make their animal. They love doing this as well.
Here are the different options for reptiles.
Aren’t they amazing! You can tell I’m a super proud first grade teacher. If you are interested in doing this with your class, Check out my reptile unit. This is one animal group of a HUGE bundle. I hope you enjoyed your sneak peek into our room.
Love what you do and do what you love!