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Cow Anatomy - The Behind

School: Promontory School of Expeditionary Learning

City/State: Perry, UT

Grade(s): 1, 2

Format(s): Short Essay

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

Type(s): Informative/Explanatory

Writing Assignment Description

During a spring expedition, first and second-grade students learned about the symbiotic relationships between plants and animals. Students were challenged with the task of writing a five-paragraph essay about one part of a dairy cow's anatomy.

Each child selected a part of the anatomy that they were most interested in. Students worked closely with local dairy farmers and went on multiple field trips to gather pertinent information. They also used various texts to gather information to help them create original pieces of writing.

Each piece of writing went through three rounds of feedback. One round was with a peer, the second, with a 7 or 8th-grade mentor, and the third round was with the teacher.

How This Writing Can Be Useful

  • Demonstrates how a young student can use technical language
  • Excellent discussion model as topic is sure to be of interest to students
  • Shows a young student having the courage to address a "gross" subject
  • Good example of a young student attempting to create paragraph transitions
  • Evokes joy and laughter

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can construct a closure on the topic of an informative/explanatory text.
  • With support, I can strengthen my writing through editing.
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