Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What kind of pet would YOU like to have? {Research FREEbie}

Hi Friends! How are ya? Today started out a little wonky with a dead car battery and will end with a visit to the torture chamber a.k.a the dentist….so in between all the randomness of the day, I thought I’d stop in to share a little research fun.


Conducting simple research is an on-going topic for us and my little class of curious firsties is LOVIN’ it! After completing research using biographies, we tackled pets/animals next. The little chart above was created to document partner discussions at the carpet. Kiddos shared 1 target question about an animal they would like to have as a pet. After lively discussions with partners, we listed the questions to share and give each other ideas before recording the pet/animal on one sticky note and the 1 question on another.


We visit the computer lab once each week. During our computer lab time, students worked with helping partners to take notes. Each student was responsible for finding 3 facts that were connected to answer their guiding question.

What’s a helping partner? Glad you asked! I allow students to choose who they will work with when its time for partner activities. There’s only 1 rule. You must choose a partner that is NOT in your reading group. Reading groups contain friends with like abilities right now. Whole group and partner activities involve mixed ability groupings, sooooo when we work with a partner, it’s part of our classroom culture for stronger readers to be paired with a friend that may need a little more help.

I alternate, how they choose…sometimes the friends who need a little more help get to choose a partner. Sometimes, the strong readers choose. It’s created an environment of empathy and compassion that I’m very proud of. BFFs make for great pals at recess or during free time, but they can be very distracting when it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.


Over the course of the week, students worked together during writer’s workshop to complete their writing and illustrations. This little research project was also an extension of our story for the week, Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats. It made for a lot of connections between reading and writing and even science! In order to take care of a pet, you have to know what a living thing needs to survive.

As we enjoyed stories by Ezra Jack Keats and about real animals online, students were also exposed to elements of media literacy. It was a wonderful week of all the little pieces we’ve been learning over the past few weeks coming together in lots of teachable moments.

When I complimented the class on doing such an amazing job with their second research project, the “Teacher Jrs” came up with a great idea! The trouble with giving a class of kiddos creative control is that once they’re used to it, they’ll exercise that right…lol! So, next….they put me to work!


I was asked to create a cover, so we could compile our writings into a class book! Here’s a look at how it turned out…


…and now we have a brand new book full of facts about pets…and a class of firsties excited about research!


Just like little Peter enjoyed learning how to do something new, it’s been a joy to watch my kiddos grow as readers and writers and now…..researchers.


With research complete and open house done, smart art was on the agenda for Friday. Researchers can be artists too! Willie jumped right out of the pages of the book onto the streets of our little city! When Peter’s mom sent him to the store, it looks like he whistled all the way to HEB and back! Just in case you don’t live in TX, HEB is our local grocery store. It’s the ONLY grocery store in a lot of areas! =)


Click the pic above to grab this little FREEBIE to get your research on too! Either I really like having choices or I’m indecisive….either way {lol} there are two choices of note taking pages and two choices of writing paper for your student’s final drafts, including a “back of the page” sheet and a cover if you’d like to make a class book too.

Enjoy and happy researching!


  1. What a great project. I love how you tied in the literature and added a rubric. Thank you so much for taking the time to share it.

    1. You're welcome! Thank YOU for stopping and leaving a little love. Happy researching! =)


Leave a little love.....Thanks! :-)


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