Google Classroom Teaching Materials

How to Write an Animal Report Using a Google Slides Template

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Information Writing Templates are Perfect for Research Reports for the End of the Year

Keep your students engaged at the end of the year while still addressing your writing standards

Keeping your students engaged in meaningful work at the end of the year can sometimes be tricky. 

I’ve found that having students complete research reports as the year is winding down is a great way for them to practice their writing skills, learn about something new, and show off their techie, creative side! 

Research writing reports can be done independently or with partners at the end of the year to make it more fun. 

Students can both work in the same presentation at the same time, making it a fun collaborative activity! Best part – you can even monitor who does what using the built in version history, so you can keep students accountable.

While students are working, you can pull individuals or small groups to finish any projects or polish up those skills before sending students off to the next grade. 

I like giving my students a set of templates to guide their reports, but you can definitely let them start with their own blank Google Slides presentation. 

If you use these ready-to-go templates, they’re completely editable so you can create the exact presentation you want before giving students access.

There’s even different versions of some of the templates, so you can differentiate for your various learners and focus on their writing goals right until the very end. 

Plus students LOVE the extra fun bits they get to create:

How to customize a template to make it exactly how you want it

  1. Open the Google Slides presentation and decide which slides you want your students to complete for their animal writing project. (Or, give them the freedom to choose.) Simply delete the rest.
  2. There are multiple versions of the same slide (noted below) such as Habitats and Babies, so you can decide if you want your students (or specific students) to create a list or type in paragraph form.
  3. You can change any of the headings to match your preference (ex. Change Babies to Life Cycle)
  4. You can type in any special writing lingo you use or directions that you want your students to remember (ex. what they should include in their introduction) in the given text boxes.
  5. When you love it, send the presentation to your students to complete through Google Classroom or send them the Google Slides link.

I like having my students come up with catchy headings to get their reader’s attention. 

I provide them with basic headings on each slide and they’re able to change them.

Here’s what headings I include in an animal report:

Provided support for your students while using Google Slides

Whenever I use Google Slides templates, I always include instructions for my students directly on the slides.

You can put instructions for what students should include on the slide directly in a text box. They’ll simply delete your text and write their own. 

I also include any instructions for how to complete actions like adding a rows to a table, how to crop photos, or how to link their text to a website. I put all of this information off of the slide, in the gray space. It’s out of the way and can always be referenced. (Pro Tip: Copy and paste any of these “how to” instructions into your other Google Slides presentations for students.)

These simple supports go a long way in aiding your students. They also help students to be independent so you can focus on pulling students or working in small groups without being interrupted.

A HIGHLY engaging activity by using multimedia!

Okay, let’s be honest; you’re not going to have to do any encouraging for this part. Students will eat this up on their own! They absolutely love adding multimedia to their Slide presentations.

One of the main reasons I use Google Slides for research reports is that students can incorporate REAL images and videos into their presentations, which they love.

There’s no reason to include clipart in animal reports when students have a chance to see the real images and habitats of the animals they’re studying.

Real images along with videos help students better understand the life of the animal and how they have an impact on the ecosystem.

Not to mention, weaving photos and videos throughout the report will engage the student’s audience much more than just a written piece, reaching different learning styles in your classroom.

Linked images and text

In addition to inserting images and videos into their reports, students also have the opportunity to link words and pictures to websites, taking their reports to the next level and leading readers to further information and understanding.

When students share their presentations with others, having these components also makes their projects much more engaging for their audience to navigate. Everyone is bound to learn more!

Students can share their presentations and comment digitally!

Before I started using digital research projects, I always encountered some problems when it came to students sharing and giving each other feedback.

Here were my main issues before going digital:

  • It felt like it always took too much time for students to share their animal reports with the rest of the class.
  • The audience seemed engaged for the first set of presentations but started to lose interest afterward.
  • Students didn’t have great visuals to keep their audience engaged, usually just a photo or two being projected with the document camera 
  • It always seemed like there were just one or two students giving feedback to the presenter, and it wasn’t that meaningful.
  • I struggled to get my students to give authentic feedback to their writing partners even before the final project.

Have you dealt with any of these same issues? Going digital resolved most of these issues.

First, I started having students share their presentations in Google Slides using the share link or by posting in our shared Google Classroom. You can assign students partners or 2-3 presentations to view. When students know they get to look at images, read cool facts, and watch videos, they’re so much more engaged and excited to view their classmates’ work. They’ll actually want to go on and read even more than just the few they were assigned.

Not only can their classmates access and view their presentations, but they can also comment on them using the comment feature built right into Google Slides.

Having students give each other feedback can sometimes be painstaking. In my classroom, it always felt like just a few students are into it, and it takes time for everyone to get feedback. Not digitally. Students LOVE IT. 

They can comment on the presentation as a whole, individual slides, or on a specific part of the presentation, even images.

Having your students use research report templates for their writing is a really fun way to mix up your nonfiction and informational writing units and especially fun as end of the year projects!

Animal templates are always a hit, but students also love these country research reportsbiography writing templates, state reports, and even book reports.

Want these ready-to-go animal templates? Click the button below!

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