Camouflage
Writing Process
butterflyline
Project Description: Teaching students to write research reports can be overwhelming. Using the excitement generated by Powerpoint and computers, the arduous task of writing a report is camouflaged and becomes motivating and energized.

How it works: Camouflage Writing will teach students to take notes to answer a set of guiding research questions from multiple print and online sources. Using this information, students will create a Powerpoint presentation to present their research in summarized format. It will them be transferred to a word processor where students will revise and edit into a 5 paragraph essay. Student work will be evaluated with two different rubrics: one for an oral presentation and one for writing.

giraffeProject Resources
Lesson Plans
Research Notecard Models
Powerpoint Instruction Slide Show
Evaluation Rubric Models
Student Examples

Language Arts Standards:

Oral Language--Communicate ideas orally that are organized chronologically or around major points of information using clear and specific vocabulary and appropriate visuals.
Writing--Compare and contrast information on the same topic after reading several passages or articles. Create a multiple paragraph composition.

Technology Standards: Demonstrate basic keyboarding skills and familiarity with computer terminology.

Subject Area: Science/English

Grade Levels: Grades 3 - 8

Overall Value: Camouflage Writing encourages children to look for ways that animals camouflage themselves in their habitats. As soon as the children finish their Powerpoint presentation, they tranoouflaged in the technology processes of revising and editing.

leopardanimationEstimated Number of Class Periods for Students To Complete Unit: four or five Class Periods

What you need: Students should be introduced to research resources including trade books, print encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias and Internet articles. In addition, they should have completed one Powerpoint project.Students should be basic readers and writers and frontloading vocabulary techniques should be used for English Learners prior to starting the project.

Software or Materials Used: This project requires traditional encyclopedias, trade books, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Word and an Internet connection.



Project Resources:

Camouflage Writing Process

Lesson 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 (optional)

 Lesson 1 Objective:  Students learn to take notes from a variety of informational texts to answer a set of guiding research questions.  Multiple sources will be used and documented including: trade books, print encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias, Internet articles.

 Preparation:
 Collect trade books on several environmental habitats.

Divide students into groups of four to work in Task Groups assigned to a habitat for research. 
Task Group Roles for Task Groups:

 

Resources:   Trade Books, chart paper, markers

Key Vocabulary:  habitat, environment, camouflage, predator, prey, grazer, scavenger

 Instructional Sequence:

1.   (5 minutes) Review some pictures of camouflaged animals and elicit discussion to determine prior knowledge.  Ask: How and why do animals hide?
(Alternately, preteach the vocabulary and the concepts of how and why animals hide.)

2.  ( 10 minutes) Teach Key Vocabulary: habitat, environment, camouflage, predator, prey, grazer, scavenger.

3.  (5 minutes) Model completing the chart with words or phrases from reading information and review the Task Group roles.

4.  (30 minutes) Tell students to complete the chart with as much information as possible in the time allowed.

5.  (10 minutes) Have the groups share their charts and information with the class.  The Ambassador is the speaker for the group using the speaking guide.  

6.  Have each student select an animal from their habitat to research for their report.

 

CHART MODEL:

                                                   Habitat: ________________

 

description  of the habitat         

examples of camouflage

predators

prey

grazers

scavengers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                               Ambassador’s Speaking Guide:

Our Habitat was the ______________________.  A ______________ can be found on the continent of ________________________.  The weather is ____________________.  The land is _________.  The plants are ________________.  Some animals that live in this habitat are __________.

 

 

 

Lesson 2 Objective : Students will research their animal in trade books, encyclopedias, Wikipedia, and organization or educational websites.


Preparation: 
Collect trade books needed based on animal choices. 
Set up Internet bookmarks to connect to:

 Instructional Sequence:

1.  (10 minutes) Model for students how to write words and phrases to answer the research questions on their research cards. 

2.  (10 minutes) Discuss the differences in Wikipedia and other Internet resources and an encyclopedia and what to write down as the reference information.

3.  (30 minutes) Allow students to collect the information they need from trade books, encyclopedias, Wikipedia, and appropriate websites.

4.  (10 minutes) Collect student research cards and determine who needs additional references to complete their research.

 

Research Cards with guiding questions to be answered in complete sentences:

Card 1:   Animal Description

Looks           

Actions

Size/dimensions

What does it do when it eats?

Colors 

What does it do when it plays?

Unique features or adaptations

Where does it rest?

 

Card 2:   Shelter

Food

Shelter

Water

What does it eat?

Where does it shelter during the day and night?

How does it get water?

How does it get food?

Where does it keep babies?

 How often does it need water?

           

Card 3:  Environment

Description of the place:

Enemies

Camouflage

location:

Who are they?

How does it camouflage?

habitat:

How does it defend against them?

When and why does it do this?

 

          

Lesson 3 Objective:  Students will create a 5-card Powerpoint presentation to present the research information in a summarized form.

 Hare Powerpoint  Sample                    HareShow PDF Hare  

Preparation:
Create an Instruction Slide Show and a sample slide show or use the provided samples.   Print slide show with 6 slides to a page and copy.
Determine and instruct students how and where they will save their work to access later and finish. For example: students will name their file <firstnameanimal> and save in the classroom folder on the network drive.

 Resources:  Computer Lab with MicroSoft Office Powerpoint and Internet access; student research notes

 Key Vocabulary: slides, headings, subtitles, bullet points, right-click, left-click, outline, illustrations, insert
(Should be a review of previous Powerpoint learning.)

 Instructional Sequence:

1.  (15 minutes) Model how to use PowerPoint to create slides and point out the locations and uses of the vocabulary terms.

2.  (35 minutes) Have students open PowerPoint and begin a slide show using their research note cards and the Instruction Slide Show.

3.  As students work, answer questions and individually talk to them about how to save their slide show.  This process is unique to each classroom and network setup.

4.  (10 minutes)  Review the saving process and have students SAVE work.  Allow extra time as needed for slide completion.

5.  Evaluate slide shows against rubric. Save slide shows for students to practice and present at Open House.

 Slideshow Rubric

 

Lesson 4 Objective:  Use the outline format of the Powerpoint presentation as a starting point to revise and write a 5 paragraph essay based on the summary information. Sample Report in Word           Sample Report in PDF

 Preparation:
Create a sample slide show and report or use the ones provided.
Determine and instruct students how and where they will save their work to access later and finish. For example: students will name their file <firstnameanimal> and save in the classroom folder on the network drive.

 Resources:  Computer Lab with MicroSoft Office Powerpoint, MicroSoft Word and Internet access; student research notes

 Key Vocabulary: slides, headings, subtitles, bullet points, right-click, left-click, outline, illustrations, insert, font, margins, indent, delete, backspace, copy, paste

 Instructional Sequence:

1.  (10 minutes) Model how to copy a PowerPoint outline and paste into Word. Show how to remove the bullets.  Point out the locations and uses of the vocabulary terms.

2.  (35 minutes) Have students open their PowerPoint presentations in outline mode and copy and paste their work into Word.

3.  As students work on adding topic sentences and arranging paragraphs (may need to be an optional Lesson 5), answer questions and individually talk to them about how to save their reports.  This multi-step process is unique to each classroom and network setup.

4.  (10 minutes)  Review the saving process and have students SAVE work.  Allow extra time as needed for completion.

 

 

Optional Lesson 5 Objective:  Use word processor to write and revise a 5 paragraph essay.

Preparation: Create a sample slide show and report or use samples provided for previous lessons.  Determine how and where students will save their work to access later and finish.

 Resources:  Computer Lab with MicroSoft Office Powerpoint, MicroSoft Word and Internet access; student research notes

 Key Vocabulary: slides, headings, subtitles, bullet points, right-click, left-click, outline, illustrations, insert, font, margins, indent, delete, backspace, copy, paste, spell check, grammar check

 Instructional Sequence:

1.  (15 minutes) Review the steps of the writing process and the built in features Word has to support that. Model changing the sections into paragraphs.  Point out the locations and uses of the vocabulary terms.

2.  (35 minutes) Have students open reports and transform each section into a 5 sentence paragraph with a topic sentence.

3.  As students work, answer questions and individually talk to them about how to save their work.  This process is unique to each classroom and network setup.

4.  (10 minutes)  Review the saving process and have students SAVE work.  Allow extra time as possible for completion.

5.  Evaluate reports against rubric. Print reports for classroom publication.

Evaluation Rubrics
Written Report Rubric       Powerpoint Rubric       Oral Presentation Rubric

 Written Report Rubric

Report Rubric:  (25 pts.)

 

______ FLUENCY (5 POINTS)

Easy to read; Transitions smoothly; logical organization

______ CONVENTIONS (5 POINTS)

Spelling and Grammar errors do not distract the reader

______ INFORMATION (5 POINTS)

Organized and easy to follow; Clear explanations; Facts are accurate; No unimportant details

______ TOPIC SENTENCES (5 POINTS)

Each paragraph in the body has a topic sentence; Opening paragraph catches readers interest; Closing paragraph summarizes; Closing paragraph contains appropriate opinions

______ PRESENTATION (5 POINTS)

Paragraphs are indented; Font is easy to read; Title is easy to read and appropriate


 Slideshow Rubric

PowerPoint  Rubric: (Wholistic Scoring)  20 pts.

 ______ INFORMATION (5 POINTS)

Follows Instructional Model; Facts are accurate

 ______FORMAT (5 POINTS)

Appropriate pictures; Readable Text;

______ CONVENTIONS (5 POINTS)

Spelling; Grammar; Bullet Points;

______ REFERENCES (5 POINTS)

Lists locations of information

 

Oral Presentation Rubric:  (25 pts.)

 ______ POSTURE (5 POINTS)

Stands straight; Faces the audience; Holds still while talking

______ VOICE (5 POINTS)

Speaks loudly and clearly; Pronounces technical words correctly; Speaks with interest; Speaks at average rate

______ PRESENTATION (5 POINTS)

Looks at the group while talking; makes some eye contact; notes are not obvious; holds listener’s interest

______ PREPARATION (5 POINTS)

Knows the information well; Seldom looks at notes; Does not read exactly; Appears to have practiced


Student Examples
Hare Powerpoint           Hare Powerpoint in PDF         Hare Word Report            Hare Report in PDF