K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will be able to apply what they have learned in their study of animals to one particular animal through research of that animal. They will then put this information into a slide show on a computer. The computer skills used include drawing tools, formatting with font, size, and text color, inserting headers, and arranging text and backgrounds.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 month


  • science textbook
  • encyclopedia
  • books on animals

Technology resources

  • computer
  • printer
  • slide show capability (ClarisWorks or PowerPoint program, for example)
  • internet access if desired


Students will need to have studied:

  • Science:
    • classification of animals
    • basic needs of animals
    • animal adaptations of body parts that help meet basic needs
    • animal behaviors adapted to meet basic needs
  • Computer Skills:
    • basic computer skills including drawing, word processing, and formatting
    • slide show presentations


The students will research the animal assigned to them. Each of the following pages of their slide show will be prepared and corrected ahead of time. Computer class time will be spent on actually creating the student’s individual slide show.

Slide Show

Each slide show will consist of 4–5 pages.

  • Page 1: A title page which includes the name of the animal and the author along with a drawing of the animal in its natural environment.
  • Page 2: A scientific classification of each animal using kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species
  • Page 3: A graphic organizer (webbing works well) summarizing the five basic needs of each animal—food, water, oxygen, climate, shelter.
  • Page 4: A chart of the animal’s behaviors which include those that are learned and those that they are born with (instincts).
  • Page 5: An extra credit page which would include interesting facts the student has found about the animal.

Conclusion of Project

Sit back and enjoy a special time (slide show afternoon!) viewing all of the students’ slide shows while enjoying popcorn or other refreshments!


Students will be assessed on the content of the slide show through a rubric which evaluates the scientific information included, grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and extra credit included. Computer skills will be assessed as part of the success of the entire slide show.

Supplemental information


  • How to prepare a slide show: doc | rtf
  • Assessment: doc | rtf


It was amazing to see the children’s computer skills develop as part of this lesson. Integrating science and computers was an exciting experience! A trip to the North Carolina Zoo was a great introduction to this lesson. It can be adapted to just about anything you want to include. The children can work at whatever level they have progressed to in computer. The first time this lesson was attempted it was successful. Not perfect, but very satisfying to all involved. Our computer teacher was a great help. We didn’t use the internet, which allowed the children to use their own drawing ability. However, the internet can be used to insert pictures, research information, etc.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Computer Technology Skills (2005)

Grade 4

  • Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 2.10: Storyboard and modify multimedia projects with menus, branching and/or multiple outcomes for content areas, citing sources as a group activity. Strand - Multimedia/Presentation

Science (2005)

Grade 4

  • Goal 1: The learner will make observations and conduct investigations to build an understanding of animal behavior and adaptation.
    • Objective 1.01: Observe and describe how all living and nonliving things affect the life of a particular animal including:
      • Other animals.
      • Plants.
      • Weather.
      • Climate.
    • Objective 1.03: Observe and discuss how behaviors and body structures help animals survive in a particular habitat.