When I was in school and heard the word project, I always groaned. "Another project???" It usually meant a research paper, or maybe we got to "create" some sort of display (which was really just a research paper all cut up and glued on poster board). I didn't like writing papers when I was a student. I got more caught up in the logistics of writing the paper than in actually analyzing the topic. Have I written enough words? Should I single-space or double-space? Are the lengths of my paragraphs varied enough? Do I need a header? Should I include page numbers? Is my bibliography accurate? It seemed those were the things the teacher graded, rather than the content of my paper.
Did I mention that, as a teacher, I HATE grading those infernal things? But research is an elementary TEK in Texas, so what's a teacher to do?
Sorry, Curriculum & Instruction, but we won't be writing research papers in my classroom. I will teach my students critical-thinking skills, but I'm not going to make 10- and 11-year-olds get carpal tunnel syndrome typing a thousand-word research paper on animals and organisms. I'll leave that to their college professors.
Instead of writing a research paper, my students created a magazine and a 3D model based on an animal or organism of their choice. The Animals & Organisms Project*** is something I created to help keep my students on track. It's a 15-page bundle that includes research guides, note-taking pages, checklists, a letter home, and other helpful information.
This was one of my kiddos' favorite activities this year! Download it for FREE by clicking on the link above. Click on the link in the sidebar to visit my TeachersPayTeachers online store for more activities that aren't just "another project."
***The Animals & Organisms Project link has expired, but you can always find it, and much more, in my TPT online store!