Isaac Simpson
English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric, Reading Informational Text, Speaking and Listening, Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Upper Primary
  • Grammar
  • NE ELA
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Research
  • Writing
  • grammar
  • research
  • writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

    Education Standards

    3rd Grade Animal Research

    3rd Grade Animal Research


    The attached lesson plan is designed for 3rd grade English Language Arts students. Students will analyze informational text to determine the main ideas for a report, apply the concepts of the writing process, and communicate their research through an oral presentation to their classroom peers. This lesson plan addresses the following NDE Standards: NE LA 3.1.6.e, NE LA 3.2.1.a,c,d,e,j, NE LA 3.3.1.a

    It is expected that this lesson plan will take five one-hour sessions to complete.

    Standards and Objectives


    • LA 3.1.6.e Determine main ideas and supporting details from informational text and/or media.
    • LA 3.2.1 Writing Process: Students will apply the writing process to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish writing using correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and other conventions of standard English appropriate for grade-level.


      LA 3.3.1.a Communicate ideas and information in a clear and concise manner suited to the purpose, setting, and audience (formal voice or informal voice), using appropriate word choice, grammar, and sentence structure.


    •  Students will analyze informational text to determine the main ideas for a report.
    •  Students will apply the concepts to the writing process to complete an informational report. 


       Students will communicate their research through an oral presentation to their classroom peers.


    Anticipatory Set

    The teacher will introduce the students to the San Diego Zoo live feed website and then give the students 10 minutes (or more if you have time) to explore the different animals they have on camera.

    Students will pick an animal they would like to learn more about. (the animal does not have to be one of the ones on the live stream)

    Instructional Input and Modeling

    The teacher will explain to the students that they will be practicing their research and writing skills by selecting an animal and finding out all sorts of facts about the animal.

    The teacher will show what websites the students can use for their research (in materials list) and hand out the Animal Research Graphic Organizer.

    The teacher will go through each of the sections of the graphic organizer so the students know what they should be looking for in their research.

    Guided Practice

    The teacher will allow the students to work on their graphic organizer.

    Checklist for animal research:

    Y.      N.  Did the learner use multiple sources and cite them at a 3rd-grade level?

    Y.      N.  Did the learner have a large number of facts they can use for their paper?

    Y.      N.  Did the learner effectively use a note-taking strategy.

    Y.      N.  Are the facts the learner found accurate?

    Once students have finished (should take about 20+ minutes), the teacher will then prepare students to begin their outline and rough draft of their research paper.

    The paper should be approximately 1-page in length and should include the information from their graphic organizer. 

    **If you are choosing to include science standards in the lesson, you can have the students focus on animal traits, comparing and contrasting regions, and variations in characteristics that may provide advantages.**

    Checklist for the writing process:

    Y.      N.    The learner has a well designed outline.

    Y.      N.    The learner has gone through the 4 steps of the writing process.

    Y.      N.    The learner compares and contrasts their animal with other animals in the writing process.


    Independent Practice

    The students will revise and edit their drafts and write their final draft of their research paper.

    Once the final drafts are finished, the teacher will allow the students to begin their oral presentation. The oral presentation should include all of the information that is in their research paper (they can use the paper as a speech).

    Research Paper Rubric:

    The students will create a visual aid PowerPoint that helps the audience understand more about their animal.

    Oral Presentation Rubric: