I ask students to sit on the meeting place rug to review what we have learned about three nocturnal animals: the owl, the bat and the raccoon.
Since we have anchor charts from all three animals that were created in previous lessons (add link here), we will use the information that we put on these charts to review what we learned.
As the students are sitting on the rug, I read over the information from each chart. I also stop and ask the students if they have any other questions about these animals that we have not answered. I wait for questions and answer them as needed. I also have available several books on each animal in case we need to look up any information. These books have also been available in our reading center throughout teaching this unit.
After finishing the review, I ask students to get up quietly and go to their tables to work on a compare and contrast project.
At each of the tables, I have a large poster sized Venn diagram.
I say to the students, “You are going to use what you know about owls, bats and raccoons to fill in the diagram about what is the same or different about these animals.”
Because the class has not done very many Venn diagrams before, I have extra adults in the room for this lesson to help lead each table group. There is a paraprofessional, two parent helpers and myself. If you were not able to have this many adults to help, you could potentially do this activity as a class or break it up into larger groups.
The adults in each group will help lead the conversations of the students by asking questions like:
“What is the same or different about these animals? What do all of these animals have/do? Etc.”
As the students are working through the discussions, the adult helper will do the writing on the Venn diagram. The adult has been instructed to only write down what the students ask them to write. In no way does the adult take over this activity. It should be all student work.
After the groups have finished with the diagram, I ask them to come back together as a group on the meeting place rug. At this time, I hang the diagram posters on the wall and each group is asked to stand up and share what they have included on their diagram.
I remind students that when groups are sharing out, that they rest of the class should be good listeners and be respectful.