Alligator Research Lapbook / Learning Portfolio {Virtual Vacation}

Did you know an alligator’s chomp is so fierce it can go right through a turtle shell? Were you aware that gators swim much faster than the fastest human swimmer?  Since I am more delicate than a turtle shell and since I certainly am not even close to being the fastest human swimmer, I am sticking to the beaches this week and will not be floating in any Florida lakes.  Thanks to my newly acquired alligator knowledge, I now have an increased fear of them. Today’s Virtual Vacation Freebie Souvenir is a complete packet that can be used to create a learning portfolio based on alligator research.  

Click to access and download the free Alligator Lapbook Research Portfolio Packet

When my son was in first grade we started doing a bit of animal research before our trips to Florida. Before we visited Sea World we learned about Orca Whales. Prior to going to the Mote Aquarium we studied sea turtles. Because he loves looking for sharks teeth on the beach (and btw, holy shark teeth capital of the world...we typically find 30+) we researched sharks. It really does make the trips more exciting (and I learn a lot too). 

To set a purpose for our reading and to organize our learning, we create research portfolios for the topic we are learning about. I love having them as a keepsake and it really showcases what a child has learned. I use them in my classroom as well.

Sometimes I have the class all working on the same topic (this year we’ve made them to house our work with Pilgrims and Wampanoags, Nouns, Fractions and 2D Geometry) and I also have students create individual versions as independent work for my early finishers who need a bit of an extension. Sometimes they couple them with our Animal Research Projects. The kids all love investigating topics that interest them and sharing their learning with the class.

A typical learning portfolio includes: vocabulary, diagrams, KWLs, question cards (written prior to reading and filled in as the answers are discovered), Have/Are/Can Tree Maps, world maps to show where the animal lives, and more.

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