Adventures with Mrs. Key

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Reptiles-A Science Unit for Little Learners

Last week, we started studying reptiles. I went to our school library and checked out 19 books on reptiles to go along with the few books I have in my personal library. Most of the books were nonfiction. I introduced reptiles to my kiddos, and it was on from there! Once they saw all the real pictures in the nonfiction books, they were hooked. I couldn't have been happier with their reactions.

We started with a reptile chart that I traced using the cover of the unit I created. Somehow, my "turtle" looks more like an "alien". Thankfully, my kiddos didn't mind. :) We filled out the chart throughout the week as we learned more. We actually aren't done with it. We will finish it next week along with Read Across America activities. 

After the introduction of reptiles, I let my kiddos go with the books I borrowed from the library. They got to choose a reptile to create a report. After choosing their reptile and finding a book, off they went to get comfortable and read. I think this was my favorite part. Total engagement in reading. They read these books all throughout the week every chance they got. It makes my heart so happy. 

After reading their book on their chosen reptile, I had my kids go back and fill out their reptile fact page. I told them to think about what they thought was interesting. Things they would want a friend to know about their chosen reptile. 

Then it was time to transfer the facts onto a writing page, draw a picture of their reptile, and glue it to a piece of construction paper. I'm sad that I was out of the large green construction paper, so we had to improvise. That was a quick life lesson (use what you have and make it work).

A little funny piece added to a nonfiction unit...I made 3 funny journal prompts for this reptile unit. For one, we wrote about a reptile coming to dinner. I laughed and laughed and laughed when I read what they came up with. Let me tell you, first graders have great imaginations. They were all funny!

This is what this child wrote: 
A reptile came to dinner. It was a salamander. We ate chicken noodle soup. We played dominoes. The salamander slept with me. We ate waffles in the morning. Then we went to school. 

You can check this unit out on 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!