This year we’re choosing one animal per month to study and create writing projects about. Many of these are seasonal choices, such as bats for October, turkeys for November, and reindeer for December. But we’re also choosing other animals to cover different kinds, such as reptiles and sea creatures!
I’ve found an easy way to differentiate in my multi-age classroom using expanding flap books.
Differentiating For Emergent Writers
For my lowest readers and writers, I give them a simple tri-fold. (This is made by cutting an 12 x 18 colored construction paper in half long ways. It gives me two long, thin 6 x 18 pieces, and I fold them into thirds)
Now for the differentiation: I choose the squares to glue into their books based on their ability level and interest. We choose from pages have specific activities, sorting, drawing, labeling, comparing, or writing.
Differentiating for More Challenging Writing
To make a more complex expanding booklet, I just glue the other half of my long colored paper to the middle – BUT this paper goes vertically. This makes a T-shape, and provides a spot for 4 more writing papers! I then choose more complex writing templates, or simple “Fact 1, Fact 2” style templates and give students more difficult reading materials.
When it’s done, it all folds up neatly on top of the middle square. Students keep their books in a portfolio and add to it through the year. It’s wonderful for portfolio assessments!
You can use any research books that you have handy, or you can use the animal research posters included in the sets. Print and laminate for student reference, or project for the whole class to work at once.
You can see ALL the animal sets and more details descriptions by clicking HERE.