4-6, Unit Four, Activity 2: "My Favorite Animal"

Students conduct effective research about animal species living in the International Peace Park. During the course of their research, students will answer the questions provided in the background section of this activity.

Grade: 4 – 6
Time: two 1-hour sessions with research time between
Subject: Life science, library science

Teacher Background:
After students have been presented with the specific information from the introduction to this unit concerning beavers, bears, and buffalo, the instructor can explain to them that it is also important to know basic information about all animals who share the habitat. There are certain basic questions which help us gain a useful understanding of any animal. The following questions are a guide in doing and organizing animal research writing: Questions for Animals Research 1. Give the common name and, if you wish, the scientific name of the animal you have chosen to research. Give a physical description of the animal. 2. How does this animal reproduce? Are the young born alive? Are they hatched from eggs? 3. How does this animal care for its young? Do parents supply food directly? Do they nurse them? Are the young taught to find food or are they left on their own? 4. What does this animal eat? Does it eat plants and animals (omnivorous)? Does it eat plants (herbivorous)? Does it eat animals (carnivorous)? 5. How does this animal move about? Does it fly, walk, crawl, etc.? 6. In what kind of environment does this animal live? Does it live on the ground, in the air, in water, or in a combination environment? Does this animal prefer special terrain such as alpine tundra, marsh, open meadow, forest, stream, etc. ? 7. What other interesting observations can you make about this animal? 8. Draw the animal in an appropriate environment on a separate sheet of art paper.

Materials:

  • Theme Paper
  • Art Paper
  • Pencils, Colored Pencils
  • Encyclopedias, wildlife books, and particularly books about the animals of Glacier National Park

Procedure:

  1. Ask each student to research a favorite animal that they are certain lives in WGIPP and that they would like to see when they visit the Park. Be sure that they have a second choice so that there are not duplicates. The instructor may wish to specify animals that would frequent beaver habitat, or that would live on the alpine tundra, or conform to some other precondition.
  2. Help the students to find resources in the library, list the guide questions, and help them to begin their research.
  3. Ask students to illustrate their writing on a separate piece of art paper. Some find research more to their liking if they are allowed to draw the picture first.
  4. When writings have been edited and drawings are completed, have the students present their reports and pictures to each other in order to share knowledge of all the animals they will be looking for on the trip.
  5. Choose a title and help students assemble their reports and art in a book.

Variations and Extensions:

  1. Play the "Animal Story Guessing Game." After students have presented their stories, have them take turns telling animal stories that give vital information, except name and physical description, about some animal that lives in the park. The other students ask for clues and guess which animal is being described.
  2. Play an animal pantomime game. Have students take turns doing a silent imitation of animal behavior until the other students successfully guess which animal they are imitating. Both of these activities are fun for students and provide a good review.

Assessment:
Self-contained in the activity.

Last updated: November 7, 2017

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