Friday, August 24, 2012

Use Old Magazines for A Science Activity About Animals

Head over to TheFifthGradeDugout to see how one teacher came up with an innovative way to use old pages full of information on animals.  Instead of tossing the decades-old sheets, she saw a valuable resource for her students.

The "Animal Fact Files" she enjoyed as a kid are full of info about different species around the world.  They include vivid pictures as well as text features to help kids learn all about each creature.

She decided to compile these pages for the class and use them when they finish their work early.  She posts one sheet a week for students to read when they get a chance, and they fill out a pre-made questionnaire to show their newfound knowledge.  The student who does the best job gets their picture posted as "Zoologist of the Week."

I thought this was an inventive way to both make use of discarded magazines and give curious readers something to do when they finish their work early.  Even if you don't have the "Animal Fact File" sheets she used, you can still mimic this same idea with any magazines with animal features, like Ranger Rick or Ask (click here for a full list of recommended classroom magazines).  Ask the school and public libraries for any old copies of magazines you can use.  Click on TheDugout's link to use her questionnaire in your version of this activity.

You can likely even adapt this to fit whatever kind of magazine features you want.  Students could become "Scientist of the Week" for science articles, "Historian of the Week" for articles on historical figures, etc.

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