This past week we read about platypus. They’re fascinating creatures that don’t really fit into any of our categories of animals perfectly. It’s got a bill like a duck, it’s body is rather like that of a badger, it’s tail looks like a beaver tail, it lays eggs, but it suckles its’ young (I promise this will all relate to how to write an animal report and the printable). It’s no wonder the first one brought back everyone thought was a fake. They make for a great homeschool science lesson.
When the first European explorers came back from Australia, everyone was sure the stuffed platypus was a put together from several different animals.
Of course we had to investigate these animals more, so we found a couple of youtube videos to watch.
The interesting thing to me, I always assumed because they were from Australia they were marsupials. They’re not. I was very surprised to learn this.
After we read they thought it was made up, I KNEW what we had to do. Make up our own animal. It’s obvious.
How to write an animal report, the printable
So, I made this planning sheet for an animal report and the rubric to go with it (either the picture of the words will take you to it). If you are making up an animal you need information very similar to what you would need for a real animal. Where does it live, what does it eat, that type of thing. I divided it up into boxes so my kids could separate out their thoughts. I don’t know about your kids, but mine need the visual separation sometimes.
Working through how to write an animal report
When you are creating a fictional animal, you need the same information you would need for a real animal report: where do they live, what do they eat, what hunts them, and a few other such answers. So if you clicked that earlier link, you’ll notice my zoo animal observation rform has many similar ideas to this one.
We spent our science time on Tuesday planning about their animals. They created Makls, Bomjangs, and an odd combination between a horse, pegasus, and unicorn. I’m sure you can guess whose animal that was.
Then we spent the next few days writing drafts, and finally they were graded using the rubric included in the printable.
The boys both have a few things to work on. But, they know exactly what they need to do and why. They both need to work on their handwriting. Princess is still finishing hers. She managed to lose her report somehow and is in the process of recreating hers as I type this.
More science ideas around the web:
Each week I’m spotlighting a few posts that were shared previously. Many posts get linked up later in the week and they don’t always get as many clicks as they deserve, so I’m trying to spotlight a few every week.
I thought this was a great use of 3 part cards from Trillium Montessori in her Antarctica overview.