Animal and Animal Habitats Research Essays

Over the next several weeks, we are going to study non-fiction reading and writing. We will use many different types of non-fiction to teach us about this genre, and will create a writing piece of our own. I think you can figure out the topic!

First, we will explore the many different biomes around the world. Next, we will find an interesting animal that lives in that biome to study. We will generate driving questions that will guide us through our investigation, and use our research and note-taking skills to find and record information. All of our research will be used to write and present non-fiction essays.

Step 1 (Inquiry)
  1. Think, Pair, Share-about examples of non-fiction resources and features of non-fiction. You will share your discussion findings with the class.
  2. Participate in whole class discussion about non-fiction. We will discuss the various types of non-fiction text and the purposes of each and the different features of non-fiction and the purposes of each feature.
  3. Record important information on the non-fiction graphic organizer.
  4. Meet with your table group to find features of non-fiction in the resources given to you by your teacher. As you find different features, highlight them on your graphic organizer.
  5. Each table group will share the features they found what they learned using those features.

Step 2 (Choice and Inquiry)
  1. Select a biome/region card. Work in your small group to learn as much as you can about your biome. Use the internet resources at the bottom of this page. (Enchanted Learning and AskKids sites are highly recommended.
  2. Click on this link to record your data: World Biomes and Regions Characteristics As we are posting to the same page, only one group can post at a time, so remember to grab the "wiki-bear" before you post.
  3. Select an animal found in your biome that you would like to research.
  4. Report to your teacher which animal you will be researching.

Step 3 (Choice and Inquiry)
  1. Generate driving questions to guide you as you research in a think, pair, share. Think about what you feel would be the most important things for someone to know about an animal.
  2. Share your questions with the class. Together, we will create a group of questions to research, but you will also need to research a few of your own, original, questions too.
  3. Create a NEW PAGE. Name it "Your animal - your name" and use the Animal Research Template located in the template choice list when you make a new page.
  4. Tag your page with your biome name (push enter) and with your name (push enter).
  5. Go to the Broz Zoo link and click on your biome name. Make sure your animal page appears as a link on the page for your biome.

Step 4 (Inquiry)
  1. Begin your research. Use the note-taking table on your newly created animal page to take detailed notes. Remember to write in your own words. No cutting and pasting!!!
  2. For at least one of your research topics you will have to triangulate your research data. That means you must have three separate resources that have identical information in them, so you can trust the information to be true.
  3. When researching, you must use at least one book and one website. You may use as many additional resources as you'd like.
  4. You must have a picture of your animal. Be sure to cite where you found it and that it come from a "creative commons" site

Step 5 (Author's Craft)
You will take part the class power point lesson on writing an essay below
  1. After the class lesson, you will FOLLOW THE WRITING PROCESS.
  2. Use this inspiration map as to help you pre-write. It will help you break your notes into key topics with supporting details.

Step 6 (Drafting and Author's Craft)
  1. Create a new page and name it "Animal name Draft by your name" Be sure to use the Animal Research Draft template.
  2. Link your or embed a jpeg copy of your inspiration map to your draft page.
  3. Link your draft page to your animal research page.
  4. Complete your draft using the template. You can always go back to the PowerPoint if you need help remembering what to include under each heading.

Step 7 (Conferring and Collaboration)
  1. Peer Conference.
  2. You will meet with three partners to read your draft, one to "bless", one to "address", and one to "press". You will meet with each partner one at a time and revise your piece during each meeting. Remember to consider the 6 traits of writing when looking at the work of others.
  3. Edit and Revise with each of your partners directly on your wiki page. Write each partners' comments and suggestions in a different color or use the discussion tab.

Step 8 (Conferring and Collaboration)
  1. Teacher Conference. You and your teacher will create an MP3 file of your conference using Audacity.
  2. Edit and Revise. Listen to the audio file and make any necessary changes disussed by you and your teacher.

Step 9 (Publishing for Authentic Audience)
  1. Copy your draft from your draft template to your word document/book or power point.
  2. Link your final essay to your Animal Research Draft Page.
  3. If you are finished early, you may create an additional project about your animal with permission form your teacher.

General Resources: (go to Wildlife tab) (go to Kids section)


Animal Planet

BBC Wildlife Finder


Yahoo Kids- Animals

Kids Biology- Animals

Click here for information on Dawn dishwashing liquid campaign:
Dawn Saves Wildlife
Animals of the World
Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World
WWF: World Wildlife Fund

Tropical Rainforest


Polar Regions



Coral Reef



Deciduous Forest