A Field Guide to Fantastic Beasts - and where to find them (Research/Creative Writing)

Time Required: Three 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Intermediate
Recommended Grades: 3rd to 5th

Students will work in small groups to design a fantastic beast and its egg using a 3Doodler. Inspiration will hatch, as students publish a field guide for their fantastic beast based on the research of an existing biome.

*Before starting this project, students should research biomes.

Note: Any links outside of the3doodler.com are optional resources. We can’t ensure their upkeep or accuracy.

Knowledge

Students have
  • had practice with creative writing.

  • researched a selected biome, i.e. related climate, landforms, plants and animals.

  • had practice using 3Doodler.

Objectives

Students will
  • design an egg and fantastic beast using the 3Doodler.

  • create a field guide for a fantastic beast, based on the research of biome.

  • integrate research on biomes to make inferences about their fantastic beast.

  • use descriptive details and clear event sequences.

Materials

Students will need
  • 3Doodler (1 per group)

  • pencils (2-3 per group group)

  • scrap paper (1-2 per group)

  • balloon (1 per group)

  • tablet or computer (1 per group)

Lesson Plan

Instructions

Step 1

Students work in small groups to respond creatively to questions based on the research of their fantastic beast's biome. Model all directions before allowing students to begin. Use the following prompts with students.

Step 2

Biome: Does your fantastic beast live in the desert, grasslands, rainforest, ocean or forest? Select a biome, its continent and the location with that continent.
Example: The Sahara Desert in Africa.

Step 3

The Egg: Describe the egg of your fantastic beast. Note any unique markings. How long does it take for this egg to hatch? Where are these eggs found, e.g., underground, in a tree, on a mountain? Create your egg with a 3Doodler.

Step 4

Create the Beast. (Optional: Visit the Build Your Wild Self website for ideas.)
Select physical characteristics that will allow your beast to survive within its biome. Sketch a stencil of your beast and trace over lines with a 3Doodler.

Step 5

Describe the fantastic beast. Use robust vocabulary and descriptive language to "paint a picture with your words." Include its size and color(s). Is it covered with fur, skin, scales or spikes? Does it stand on 1, 2, 3 or 4 feet. Does it have wings? Horns? What is its most unique or distinctive feature?

Step 6

Shelter: Describe its shelter. Is it made of sticks or straw? Is it on the ground, buried in the sand or in a tree?

Step 7

Food Chain: What are its predators and prey? Is it an herbivore, carnivore or omnivore? Note specific animals or plants indigenous to its biome that are its predators and prey.

Step 8

Adaptations: Which physical characteristics allow it to survive in its habitat? How does it hide, escape from or attack predators? Does it spit venom or shoot flames?

Step 9

Skills: What special skills help it to survive in its habitat? Example: climbing, running, flying, swinging from trees, etc.

Step 10

Communication: Describe the sounds your fantastic beast makes to communicate hunger, danger, sadness, love. Examples: a loud cackle, an odd hiccuping sound, a low pitched howl, etc.

Step 11

Spotters Tips: What distinctive traits or characteristics would allow a zoologist to spot it? Examples: a foul smell, fluorescent pink dots that light up at night, a high shrieking sound, etc.

Wrap Up

Publish results as a Google Site or Slideshow or use a multimedia app, like Canva or Glogster Share on Twitter #3DoodlerEDU

Assessment

Review students' doodles and field guides to gauge their level of understanding.

Possible Extensions

  • 3Doodle other aspects of your fantastic beast's biome, e.g., predators, prey, shelter, etc.

  • Use green screen technology and stop motion to animate your beast within its biome.

Resources

Optional: Biome information

Vocabulary

  • biome - a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g., forest or tundra.

Educational Standards

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

In This Lesson

Students will write and publish a field guide for a fantastic beast incorporating creative writing and descriptive details based on researched information about a biome.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

In This Lesson

Student's will produce clear and coherent writing appropriate to the task of integrating research into an imaginative field guide.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.3

Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).

In This Lesson

Students will integrate robust vocabulary and descriptive details that paint a picture in their beast's field guide.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.7

Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

In This Lesson

Students will research a biome, its climate, creatures and landforms.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.9

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

In This Lesson

Students will research a biome and integrate their research into the design of their beast, its physical characteristics and adaptations.

Next Gen Science
3-5-ETS1-1

Define a simple design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process, or system and includes several criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

In This Lesson

Students will work in small groups to meet selected criteria to design and construct a fantastic beast and its egg based on research information of a selected biome.

Next Gen Science
3-5-ETS1-2

Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

In This Lesson

Students will work in pairs to sketch various design possibilities for their beast before selecting one to doodle.

CS Teachers
1A-A-5-3

Plan and create a design document to illustrate thoughts, ideas, and stories in a sequential (step-by-step) manner (e.g., story map, storyboard, sequential graphic organizer).

In This Lesson

Students will integrate biome research to plan their stencil, making inferences about their beast's needed physical features, adaptations, etc.

CS Teachers
1A-A-3-5

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

This activity is broken down into research, design, construction and writing tasks.

ISTE
1A

Articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.

In This Lesson

Students will use the 3Doodler to leverage personal learning goals, i.e., writing a POV narrative. Students will culminate project in a discussion to reflect on the process, its outcomes and how to improve on subsequent experiences.

ISTE
1C

Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use the 3Doodler to visually inspire creative writing.

ISTE
4D

Exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.

In This Lesson

Students will demonstrate willingness and competency within an open-ended task with more than one possible outcome.

ISTE
6B

Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will create fantastic beasts and their eggs to inspire research and writing.

ISTE
7A

Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will collaborate throughout this exercise with group members while using the 3Doodler.
Students will listen, share ideas and compromise while using the 3Doodler.

ISTE
7C

Contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities

In This Lesson

Students will share and support each other by taking on various roles, e.g., sketching, modeling, doodling and writing.

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