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A Day in May

School: Alamo Navajo Community School

City/State: Magdalena, NM

Grade(s): 5

Format(s): Book

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

Project Overview

Fifth grade students at the Alamo Navajo Community School in Magdalena, New Mexico researched living things in the Alamo Desert to learn how plants, birds, animals and insects adapt to their desert environment. Their writing focused on critical details of their living thing during the different times of day and night. The students also photographed a homemade sundial, to illustrate the different times throughout the day and night.

The students used a graphic organizer to help them write about their picture of a living thing in the desert. They did research on the desert living thing, but the focus was turning it into a creative paragraph with the picture in front of them. They looked at a scientific picture, then they drew it and painted it. Finally, they wrote the words to describe their own paintings.

The resulting picture book traces a day in the desert by the time of day and includes student illustrations and text. The final product was shared at student-led conferences. Each student received a copy, and the library also has a copy.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • The final product demonstrates the integration of scientific research, writing and visual art into a single, high-quality representation of their work.
  • Exemplifies the learning/practicing of ELL skills while researching and creating a product
  • Stellar example of how facts can be presented with literary description that is almost poetic
  • Each entry follows a common format that also allows for original work and creativity

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and information clearly.
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • I can use several sources to build my knowledge about a topic.
  • I can use conventions to send a clear message to my reader.
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