Sharks! Research Companion (Unpacking the Common Core too!)

June is on the horizon, so I’ve been busy creating resources to keep my almost second graders busy and engaged. Year after year I have students who are just HUNGRY to read and learn about different types of sharks. This research companion includes graphic organizers, fact book/research pages, a poetry project, and even some basic reading passages.

Shark research companion resources!

And since I have been seriously behind in getting my Unpacking the Common Core posts done, I thought I would include a little of that here, shifting gears to Reading informational text and writing.


Reading:  By reading and collecting information, using the passages provided or any book or resource about sharks, students are meeting standard:

Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

Shark research companion resources!

Writing: Once students have completed their research, there are a couple of different writing activities which meet the standards.

First, I have included a printable fact book for students to use to write about each type of shark.


Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

Shark research companion resources! Shark research companion resources! Shark research companion resources!

Second, I like to have students complete opinion writing before and after reading and learning. In this case, the prompt is highly engaging for young learners- Do you want to go diving in a shark cage?

For beginning learners, I provide a graphic organizer format first (included in the pack) to ensure that students have all the parts that are expected of them.

Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
Shark research companion resources! Blog.printableprompts.comShark research companion resources!
I also love giving students the choice to present their research in a more creative way. I have included the materials and directions for completing a shape poem with facts and information about sharks. My students love completing these poems, and they really do help me see if my students were able to identify important information.
Shark research companion resources!
So… here are three of the (first grade) standards for reading and writing met in a fun, engaging research project format.
As a note, I used these lessons in third grade, and my students loved this research just as much!  In fact, I see this resource as more geared towards grades 2-3, but first graders certainly could use it as well, especially at the end of the year!

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