Short Check List for Vulture Assignments
Did you read the assignment carefully?
Did you pick a topic for which you can find enough information?
Did you plan/outline how you want to tackle/organize your report/presentation/project?
Did you go to suggested sites to get your information?
Did you take notes and put them in labeled folders on your computer?
Did you follow your plan in bringing your work together?
Did you cite your sources?
Did you use spell check?
When you read your report or look at your presentation/project, are your satisfied with it?
Did you make all the necessary changes?
Did you read over the teacher’s assignment one last time to make sure you followed all the guidelines?
Vulture Assignment Suggestions
Here are some steps to follow when doing a report, presentation, or project on vultures.
Note: Teachers often give out specific guidelines about how they want assignments completed. Read those guidelines and follow them carefully. Use the steps below to help you, but remember that what your teacher wants comes first.
Deciding Upon Your Topic
If your teacher hasn’t assigned you to a report/presentation/project on a specific type of vulture, browse some of the sites on The Vulture Site List or Vulture Facts to find a vulture you’d like to learn about for your report. Keep in mind that there is more information on some kinds of vultures than others. You’ll want to make sure you have enough information to do what your teacher expects.
Instead of reporting on one type of vulture, you may want to think about finding more about why vultures are endangered, how vultures are able to eat decaying food, why most vultures seem to fly effortlessly, why vultures look like they do, etc,.?
Thinking About What You Want to Include in Your Assignment
Make a list of questions you have about your topic. Ask your parents, brothers and sisters, and friends what they think you should include in your research, or in other words, what they’d want to know about your topic.
Go through your list of questions and pick one or more that interests you. Think about how you might answer those questions even before you look up any information. Maybe you’ll want to do your report from the viewpoint of a field biologist or from the viewpoint of a particular type of vulture. Handling your report like this will keep you from copying/plagiarism and will guide you through your searching for information.
How Will You Present Your Assignment?
Your teacher will probably answer this question when she gives the assignment, but you’ll need to know whether you’ll be developing a written report that needs to be printed or submitted online, a presentation, a project, or …. If you have an idea for a special way to do your report, make sure you get permission from your teacher before you start working on your idea.
Go online and read a general resource on vultures—this will help you find key words to search for to get more detailed information. The Cornell site, for example, is a great place to start when it comes to American vultures.
When searching, it’s best to use the sites on The Vulture Site List and link from them to other sites. Be careful if you do general Google searches, for many of the sites that come up may not be ones you will want to use. For example, if you want to report on “Old World Vultures” and you put that into a Google search, you’ll get information on “Old World Vultures”, information on “Old World Vultures” bands and musicians, etc.
Ask your teacher, your librarian, or the science teachers at your school if they have any suggestions for good sites to use. You might even contact the local ornithological society to see if they have ideas to help you.
Collecting Your Information
Try to collect your notes on the computer, using the computer as your writing assistant. If you have all your notes organized in folders (maybe labeled with a keyword from your questions) on your computer, then it will be easier for you to write your report later.
Make sure if you copy information from a site that you put it in quotes and you write down where you got the information (at least the site name, URL and date you took the information). Even if you aren’t quoting, if the information isn’t something everyone knows, you need to cite your source.
When you use photos or video from online in your work, it is necessary to cite your sources for these as well. Under the Fair Use Law, students can use a few photos and parts of videos in their reports. You wouldn’t want to fill up your report with too many photos or an entire video anyway.
Writing and Designing
Think back to how you wanted to organize your work. Ask yourself if that will work with the information you’ve collected. If so, get started. If not, you may need to change your plan of action. What do you tell first, second, …, last? This will be your guide or perhaps your outline or list.
Find an interesting way to start your work. A good beginning will really help grab your teacher’s attention.
Go step-by-step following your plan, outline or list as you look through your note folders for the information you want to use. As you write it, make sure you are following your plan. If you are the field biologist, give the information through that person’s words and thoughts.
Notice how your photos and videos look in your work. Do you need photo or video captions?
Cite your sources
Once you have it all together, read it over to see if it works. Do a spell check. If you know how to have your computer read it back to you, do that. It really helps to find mistakes. If you have time, ask someone else to look over your report and make suggestions.
Creating Your Resources or Works Cited Page
Make a page at the end of your report citing all of your sources. List them in alphabetical order by author’s name if there is an author, or if not, by site name.
Check the Assignment One Last Time
Read over your teacher’s assignment one more time to make sure you’ve followed all the guidelines