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Study of Bones and Skeletons

School: Alice B. Beal Elementary

City/State: Springfield, MA

Grade(s): 5

Format(s): Children's book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology

Project Overview: 

This children’s book was created by 5th graders at the Alice B. Beal Magnet School in Springfield, Massachusetts as part of a learning expedition on bones and skeletons – a topic required by district curriculum.

Students researched animals and their skeletons via online resources and books about their animals; they then created entries in pairs. The students’ book includes written information accompanied by stock digital images of the animals and their skeletons.

The book includes a bibliography of the books and websites used by students. Also included are the Learning Targets which clearly convey the extent and nature of what students worked on.

The Learning Targets for this project include content targets (e.g. “I can describe the functions of tendons, ligaments and muscles”), research skills targets (e.g. “I can scan an image for use in the final product, properly citing its source”), and writing targets (e.g. “I can write a paragraph with a main idea and supporting details”).

How This Project Can Be Useful: 

  • Clear, well-composed Learning Targets
  • Highlights a product that features student writing that was produced by two students
  • Shows carefully written entries, which are detailed and accurate. For example, see the Panda entry, page 8
  • Demonstrates an engaging topic for elementary students and a nice entry point into the study of animals – via their bones
  • Shows an example of using non-student generated images, allowing students to focus primarily on their writing

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
RI.5.9
  • I can accurately synthesize information from multiple texts on the same topic.
W.5.2
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and information clearly.
W.5.4
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.5.6
  • I can type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
W.5.7
  • I can use several sources to build my knowledge about a topic.
W.5.8
  • I can provide a list of sources I used to gather information.
W.5.9
  • I can choose evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection and research.
L.5.1
  • I can use grammar conventions to send a clear message to a reader or listener.
L.5.2
  • I can use conventions to send a clear message to my reader.
L.5.3
  • I can use my knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
L.5.6
  • I can accurately use 5th grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas.
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