Dinosaur Research

The dinosaur research project has begun! Last year,  I found a terrific website called PebbleGo that provides emergent researchers with databases filled with information.

“Each database features expertly-leveled and navigation specifically designed for your beginning researchers. Enriched with spoken-word audio, text highlighting, and audio-visual media, PebbleGo builds a foundation of research skills for every learner.”

I have been excitedly awaiting the dinosaur unit so that the students can take full advantage of PebbleGo. The first step was to have students carefully chose a dinosaur with which they were not familiar. PebbleGo has definitely opened all of our eyes in regards to the many, many types of dinosaurs. Students spent two reading group rotations exploring the database before narrowing down their interests to one dinosaur. That was a challenge! Each time a student read about a different dinosaur, that became the dino they wished to research. At last, the final selections were made.

In preparation for today, I created a template for the students to use for this second step of recording their research. The topics of research include body, habitat, diet, natural defenses, a comparison to an animal today, and an interesting fact. I also wrote each dinosaurs name on a sentence strip.

During the research process, students will read or listen to the information presented on PebbleGo. Using that information, they will write down facts that pertain to each of the categories I listed above using their best guess spelling. We will be focusing on writing mechanics, including using a capital letter at the beginning of the sentence and with proper nouns, and lower case letters wherever else. Students are encouraged to fit the letters between the lines and leave finger spaces between words, and, finally, end each sentence with punctuation.  Whew!! That’s a lot of skills!

Here are two examples of some of the work completed today.

All the information researched will become part of a presentation the students will create and present at the end of the dinosaur unit. More to come soon!