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Big 6+ Inquiry GLEs for 6th-12th Grade: 6th Grade GLE (C2 Animal Intelligence) 2nd Qtr

Lesson Overview

This project is to be completed during 2nd quarter.

The goal of this inquiry project is for students to explore animal intelligence.  Students will present their findings as an informative essay.  

Proficiency Scales coming soon

To help prepare students for this GLE, the classroom teacher can use the student Performance Assessment workbook Unit 2 Informative essay materials.  These steps use articles related to Disaster!.


This is a collaborative lesson taught by both the classroom teacher and the school librarian. Get in contact with your school librarian early to discuss scheduling and teaching responsibilities.

This lesson plan is a guideline. If you need to make minor adjustments or changes to best suit the needs of your students or the resources in your building, please do so. If you have questions about the curricular requirements, please contact Shelley Erickson or Julie Schik.

At the completion of this lesson, you will need to send two student examples each of a level 2, 3, and 4 project to your curriculum specialist or department head who will in turn submit them to your supervisor.  This can be electronically or as a hard copy.

Task Definition (1)

 Teacher—prior to this assignment, students will read “How Smart Are Animals?” and “Animal Snoops.”  Follow the Gather Information directions in the PLAN section of the Teacher’s Edition on pg. 133.

Inquiry Question:  How do animals exhibit intelligence?

Teacher will introduce the requirements for the project.

Formative Assessment: Verify all information is recorded on student handouts (can be a visual check or graded assessment)

Info Seeking/Location & Access (2/3)

With direct instruction from the school librarian (with support from the classroom teacher) on search strategies and recommended resources, students will locate required information about how animals exhibit intelligence:

Possible Sources of information:

  • “How Smart Are Animals?” and “Animal Snoops” AND additional research 
  • Gale Student Resources in Context

(suggestion—show students how to use keyword “animal intelligence”  Sort Content by “content level”  Look for articles with green circles)

Formative Assessment:  Consistent and frequent verbal and visual checks with student to assess if they are able to access quality resources.

Your librarian will use your school's direct links to the district databases when working with students.

Use of Information (4)

Teacher will guide students through transferring information into a notes organizer. (TBD by teacher and/or self-selected by students.  See pg. 134 of the Teacher’s Edition.  An example is included below).

With direct instruction and support from the school librarian, students will create citations for their sources.  Recommendation to use district subscription to Noodle Tools.  If using Gale Student Resources in Context, citations are provided in the database.

Formative Assessment:  Visual checks for completion.  And/or, individual conferencing with students to determine if ready to move on to synthesis and sharing.

Synthesis & Sharing (5)

Teacher will review the requirements for the final project and assist students as necessary. 

Required:  An informative essay that includes a thesis statement, idea development, transitions, and a restatement of the thesis.  An example rough draft organizer is included below.  Products should include students’ personal perspective based on information gathered from resources.  Information on drafting an essay is included in the Teacher’s Edition on pg. 134 with revision info on pg. 135.

Formative Assessment: Rough draft feedback.

Summative Assessment: Use the provided proficiency scale.

Self-Evaluation (6)

Teacher will guide students as they complete the self-evaluation form containing teacher selected items from the form included on the libguide.

OR use the questions in the Reflect on the Process section of the Teacher’s Edition on the left side of pg. 136.

The self-evaluation can be as brief (one question) or as long as the teacher deems necessary.  This can be a graded or non-graded activity.         

Citation Resources

Noodle Tools

Noodletools provides a format for creating research papers.  It provides an area for notetaking, citation creation, and paper formation.

Guides for using Noodle Tools

This 20 minute video gives an overview on how to use NoodleTools.

This video shows how to create a new project.

This video shows how to check the format of your citation.

This video shows how to add a preformatted citation from a database or website.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).