Science Meets Writing Meets Popplet

We were in a little bit of an “in-between” time in writing last week and so I took advantage by doing something new.  I can thank my friend and neighbor in Rm. 201, Mrs. Appelbaum (isn’t the the BEST name for a first grade teacher??), for the idea for how to connect our writing with science.

Ok, a little background…we have just started a unit on animals in science, and so were eager to do some reading and learning.  I got a big ‘ole pile books from the library about all kinds of interesting animals and we got to work.  First we just read, but then we got to thinking about how we could record the things we were finding out as we read.  We had already done some work with Popplet (remember how Diego so ingeniously figured out how to make the camera work?), so I thought they could easily transfer that thinking to new info on animals.  Well, it didn’t go quite that easily, and I decided we needed to do backtrack a little bit.  That meant (by suggestion of Mrs. Appelbaum) that we do some webs on paper (together first, then on their own) first.  So that’s just what we did.

We started with a text about sharks:

CAM01856and then we worked together to write things we learned in our book about sharks:

CAM01849We talked about how to write just blurbs or words, not whole sentences, as well as how to add details.  After I was pretty sure they understood what to do, I set them free to try it out for themselves.  It was our first try, but still, I’d say they did a pretty great job!


Sara uses her smart reading strategies to learn about ladybugs.


Makayla, Kylie and Lauren all hard at work on their animal webs.


Landen made a web about gorillas, and even used more than one book on the topic to collect his information. Then, he turned his paper over and did another web about moths. 🙂


Jacob read about leopards. His web ended up filling up almost the whole page!


Amelia and Millie working hard on their webs. Millie, who learned about hummingbirds, ended up reading at least 4 different books about her topic and adding loads and loads of facts. Amelia was researching stingrays.


Nate is getting ready to add his topic to the middle of his web.


Evan recorded facts about red foxes.


Ella Marie was super excited about learning more about bees!


Thomas found a book about bearded dragons for his work.


Ava found a book on frogs to use for her web.


Charlie was checking out a book on zebra sharks.


Diego’s learning about tiger sharks!


Peyton’s web showed many things he’d learned about hammerhead sharks! We had many different kinds of shark books on this day and they were all very popular (everyone at his table had a different shark book to read!)!

Oh, and the part about Popplet in the title?  The next day, many kiddos took the information from this draft of their webs and transferred it to Popplets on their iPads.  Some started brand new Popplets using the same process that they’d practiced here.  The best part is that this is something they’ll be able to repeat again and again as they research new topics and organize the information they learn!  SWEET!

Ok, finally, a slideshow of our work from this day:

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2 thoughts on “Science Meets Writing Meets Popplet

  1. Hello again 20 something kids and the one kooky teacher.

    I was only going to add a comment to one post but I couldn’t resist this post. Animals are a fascination for me. Studying animals was part of my university science degree and is now something still offering me great learning opportunities. Only last week, I returned to a favourite wetland reserve and an animal sanctuary to test a new camera and update my photo collection of animals.

    Lizards, snakes, birds, as well as monotreme (egg laying mammals), marsupial (mammals with pouches) and placental (like us) animal photos were taken mammals. One or two favourite shots will be printed, framed and donated to the animal sanctuary I have so often visited.

    By the way, Thomas, I also added some new photos of a bearded dragon to my photo collection.

    Living in an Australian coastal town, I have also seen whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and many other sea creatures. I have photos of some. Sharks are interesting not only because of them being predators of the sea, also because they have been around since long before the dinosaurs.

    Keep learning guys and you will find it seems the more you know the better you understand how much more there is to learn.

    Ross Mannell
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

  2. Pingback: SPECIAL EDITION–First Grade Math Warm-Ups: Data Collection Focus | 20somethingkids and 1kookyteacher

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