Animal Research Using a Database

I wanted my 2nd graders to start using a database and I have a subscription to World Book Online, which is a great tool, so I came up with this lesson. I use a lot of task cards in the library. Because I only have 16 computers, I needed a way to circulate the students through so that everyone stayed busy and got a chance to use the computer. I started creating small tasks to do on the computer that take only 10 or 15 minutes, but gives everyone practice. First, I made computer cards, each card has a number on it and each of my computers has a matching number. When a computer is available, the card is in my box and I grab it, look at my class roster and assign it to someone. I mark the number on my roster for that student, they come and get the card and take it with them to the computer. When they are done, they return the card to my green box and I give the card to someone else. Then I made 24 Animal Research cards. Each card has the log in information for my database on the front, and the animal I want researched on the back. I print them out on 2x4 inch labels and stick them on index cards that I laminate.   To store all my task cards, I found these nice cardboard boxes at Demco that are very cheap. The database I use is World Book Online. After logging in, go to the Kids page, which has icons to click on and is easy for new readers to manage. Click on the World of Animals and you can pull up basic information on a lot of different animals. I made a book for the lapbook to collect research for nine different animals. The first page of the book is a table of contents. I like students to construct their own table of contents to get a good understanding of how to use one. To construct the book, cut off the margins on the dotted lines and cut in half. Stack the pages together and staple and fold. Students number the pages themselves so they do not have to be in any order except for the cover. The book takes 1  1/2 pages … [Read more...]

Animal Dictionary

  I wanted my 2nd graders to start using the dictionary but I recognized, as emergent readers, some of them would find this difficult. So, I tried to make it fun and I ended up with a lesson that I start at the beginning of the year but students continue to work on throughout the year. This is the beauty of Lapbooks, those quick finishers always have something to work on. I post my list of tasks in a PowerPoint, which they do in the order they are listed, and the last one is always, "Work on your Animal Dictionary if you are finished with everything else". This book is printed on four pieces of paper, both sides. I glue this book in box 6 because it is a heavy book and needs to be in a sturdy part of the lapbook. I use The American Heritage First Dictionary, in the library, with 2nd graders. It has a lot of pictures, with simple definitions, and well labeled sections. Students look through the pages of section A until they find an animal they want to add to their dictionary, usually alligator. On the top line, they write the animal, then copy the definition on the rest of the page. In the little box they draw a picture of the animal. At the end of the book are two word searches with animal words for them to enjoy when they are all done making their book.   Click here to purchase. … [Read more...]