Hello, Olinguito!

article by Katie Furze , photo by Alamy

Learning intention 

I am learning to identify the types of information included in informative texts so that I can select information to include in a presentation.  

Success criteria  

  • I can generate questions about an animal.  
  • I can identify key information included in a text.  
  • I can research information about an animal.  
  • I can include this information in a presentation to share with my peers.  

 

Prior to reading Hello Olinguito! display the word ‘olinguito’ and inform students that it is a type of animal. Discuss questions students may have about the animal and display these for students to refer to later, for example:  

  • What do they look like?  
  • Where do they live? 
  • What do they eat? 
  • How long do they live? 
  • How many of them are there in the wild? 

 

Read Hello Olinguito! up to the end of page 23 or listen to the audio file. Discuss the type of information included. Refer students to the subheadings to support with this. Responses include:  

  • What is an olinguito?  
  • Where do olinguitos live?  

Discuss which of the students' questions generated earlier are answered in this section of the article and which are still unanswered.  

Place students in pairs and instruct them to read the remainder of the article. Identify key information included, such as:  

  • Information about the fact olinguitos were originally mistaken for another animal 
  • The expedition that enabled scientists to identify the olinguito as a separate animal 
  • How the confirmation of a new species occurred 
  • What the discovery of the olinguito can teach us about how the world is not yet completely discovered 
  • Further discoveries 

 

Again, refer back to the list of students’ questions and see which have been answered. Most likely many more of the questions have been covered in the remainder of the article.  

Inform students that they will be researching an animal and creating a presentation based on the information they find.  

Refer students to the list of questions they compiled earlier. Tell them that they should strive to cover as many of the questions in the presentations they create. Inform students that they will be using these questions to guide their research.  

View the webpage Animals from National Geographic Kids. Gradually release responsibility by completing an example collaboratively first.  

Select an animal, such as an American Bullfrog, found under the heading Amphibians. Read the accompanying information. Note the responses to the questions generated earlier found on the webpage.  

Sort the information using the students’ questions as subheadings, for example:  

  • What do they look like? (An average female will weigh 1.1 pounds and grow up to 3.5 to 6 inches) Note: Use an online conversion to find their weight in grams, and their size in cm (498g and 8.89cm to 15cm) 
  • Where do they live? (Freshwater ponds, lakes, and marshes in North America. They like warm weather, and they dig down into the mud to hibernate when it gets cold) 
  • What do they eat? (They are carnivores and eat insects, mice, snakes, fish and other small creatures) 
  • How long do they live? (7 to 9 years)  

 

Discuss how you might organize this information into a presentation, for example by having a separate speaker for each of the questions. Provide students with paper and textas for them to create illustrations to accompany their presentations or provide access to programs such as Google Slides or Microsoft Powerpoint. Place students with a partner. Instruct them to create their own presentation by completing the following:  

  • Select an animal 
  • Research facts about the animal, using the questions to guide their research 
  • Compile the information into a presentation 

 

Assessment as/of learning:  

Pair the groups up with each other and inform students that they will be presenting their presentations to their peers. Discuss criteria for the presentations, for example:  

  • Includes facts 
  • Answers some of the questions generated earlier  
  • Is interesting 
  • Students speak clearly when delivering their presentations 

Tell students to use the criteria generated collaboratively to assess the work of their peers. Allocate a mark for each of the criteria.  

Effective Feedback from the NSW Department of Education has more information on different types of feedback.