and Fourth grade students at Cambridgeport have been studying habitats
in science. As part of this study, they canoed on the Charles River and
visited the Maynard Ecology Center. At the end of their unit on habits,
they had developed a solid understanding of what must be present in a
habitat in order to support an organism. Part of the study of habitats
included researching a specific animal in order to understand how the
animal survives in its habitat.
When the research was done,
students were charged with writing a picture book about their animal.
The librarian showed the students that while there were some good
picture books about animals in the school library, there weren’t nearly
enough. She asked them to write picture books that could be included in
the school library collection for other students to check out, read, and
the next stage of this project, students immersed themselves in the
study of non-fiction picture books. They looked at the author’s craft,
and chose published authors as mentors for their own writing. They
drafted and revised their writing to share information about an animal
in an interesting, engaging way.
While they were crafting the
writing during their writing workshop, they also worked on illustrations
during art class. Students learned how to draw accurate representations
of animals in action.
The final celebration of this project will
be when the books the students have written are bar-coded and entered
into the library collection.