What’s that? Did I hear you SIGH? I can relate! I used to DREAD teaching writing … until I realized I was making it harder than it really was! I now LOVE teaching writing to my students! … and teaching report writing CAN be easy! It is my mission to make teaching writing easier and more FUN! Check out these ideas! Your kids will love them! Help them create animal reports they can be proud of!
What is report writing?
Report writing is a type of informative writing. … and what is informative writing you ask? Informative writing is meant to give information to the reader. The information increases the reader’s knowledge about a topic. So … when students write a report, they are learning to share information with others. And as teacher isn’t that our goal?
Why teach animal report writing?
We want kids to practice their writing … and kids love animals … so … writing animal reports is a great way for students to practice their writing skills! As they write their reports, they learn how to:
- conduct research to find out about their animals,
- write sentences that contain important information, and
- create reports that provide information to their readers.
7 Steps of the Report Writing Process
There are seven steps to the animal report writing process. They are:
- Step One: Choose Your Topic
- Step Two: Research Your Topic
- Step Three: Make Jot Notes
- Step Four: Write a Draft
- Step Five: Revise and Edit
- Step Six: Write a Good Copy
- Step Seven: Illustrate Report
Step One: Choose an Animal
There are different ways students can choose the topic for their animal report. They can:
- choose their own animal from a list,
- pick the name of an animal out of hat, OR
- be assigned an animal by the teacher.
A fun idea for choosing animals is to print the names of different animals on individual slips of paper, fold the names of the animals, put them in a bowl, and let each pick a slip of paper. Students open their papers to reveal the animal they will be researching. Be sure to grab the Animal Topics freebie in the Freebie Library!
Step Two: Research the Animal
Students can use a variety of different sources to research their animal reports. They can use:
- non-fiction books,
- online videos,
- or non-traditional sources such as trading cards.
Step Three: Make Jot Notes
Once you decide on the sources your students will be using for their animal research project, have the students make jot notes about the animal they have chosen to write about. Differentiate the jot notes by providing different students with appropriate templates they need based on their learning needs.
Step Four: Write a Draft
After students have finished making their jot notes, they use the information to write a draft copy of their report. Students can write their report on:
- lined paper,
- plain paper,
- a google doc,
- a draft template or graphic organizer.
Step Five: Revise and Edit
Students read over their own work and/or work with a partner to revise and edit their work. Use the FREE Writing Checklist Bookmarks to support your students with this process. Students look at their:
- writing mechanics (capitalization, punctuation, spelling),
- ideas in their sentences (are all details included), and
- flow of their writing (does it make sense).
Step Six: Write a Good Copy
After students have finished revising and editing their draft animal reports, they can write or type out their good copies. Provide students with fancy paper or report templates to complete their good copies. Consider proving students with a choice in how they present their information. Possible options may include:
- power points,
- videos, or
- any other presentation option your students can come up with.
Step Seven: Illustrate Report
The final step in the report writing process is for students to illustrate their animal reports. Hang the reports on a bulletin board for a colorful display!
Other Tips, Ideas, and Suggestions …
- Use the animal report writing project as part of an Animals Unit.
- Use the animal report to promote informative writing during the language arts.
How to Differentiate Report Writing
- Give reluctant writers templates that require them to only find one fact for each research category.
- If students need a challenge, provide them with a template that encourages them to find three or more facts about each research category.
Other Resources You May Be Interested In:
Are you looking for ready-made, student-friendly resources that will meet the needs of ALL the students in your classroom? Check out these resources! Materials shown in this blogpost are a part of The Animal Report – Differentiated Templates and Arctic Animals Trading Cards products.
“I cannot even put into words how great this product was for my reluctant writers! It was magical to see their finished products and so proud to do their speeches! A+++++++++++”
“This is an excellent resource! We are just starting to write animal reports in my class and this will be so helpful. I love how everything is differentiated to suit all my students’ needs!”
“This is BY FAR the best template that I have found for insect reports! Thank you!!”
“This packet has so many different levels, all the differentiation was provided! My kids loved doing a bug report!”
“This was a great, easy-to-follow guide for my students to begin report writing. Love the differentiation too. Thanks!”
“ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS PRODUCT! My students struggle with setting up their writing and this product supports learners wonderfully. Students have been more successful with their writing thanks to the organizers included in this product.”
Fantastic-these will be great for my kiddos who need a bit more direction and support in their non-fiction writing.
“Exactly what I was looking for for my end of the year culminating activity.”
“Excited about another set of trading cards! Thank you!”
“We will be writing reports on arctic animals after break. These will be a great help for our research. Thanks!”
“These research cards were a lifesaver when I was doing my insect research centres. Thanks!”
“This resource is great for my first graders! Super fun and engaging!”
“LOVE LOVE these! These will go great in their notebooks!”