Lions, Tigers, & Bears...OH MY! - Learning About Animals

Zoo Parc Beauval
photo © 2010 JoyTek | more info (via: Wylio)

It is fascinating to learn about all the different types of animals that populate our Earth. As you head into the last few weeks before summer, consider doing a mini {super fun!} animal unit that is partially 'directed' and partially student-led...

The Weird, Kooky, & Just Plain Strange... Have your kinders {with the help of an older sibling or parent} research the strangest animal they can think of. Finding a picture and some basic facts, have students present their findings to the class, then vote on which animal is the weirdest!

Chaos at the Zoo. Cut and paste the pictures of well-known animals onto cards, creating two of each animal card. Fold them in half, place them in a hat or bucket, and have students take turns drawing a card. Relay to them that, while the zookeeper was away, an ornery monkey escaped from his cage and let all the zoo animals out. To help out the stressed zookeeper, invite students to find the classmate who drew the same animal. The challenge - they have to rely on sound alone. When you say go, invite students to make their animal sound and try to find, amidst the chaos, the person making the same sound as them.

How Fast Are They? Divide students into groups, providing each group with a set of animal cards {each card containing a picture of the animal and the animal's name}. Invite your kiddos to consider how fast each of the animals can move, working to order the cards from fastest to slowest. Having already researched each animals speed, reconvene as a class to check their work. Your students are sure to be amazed at the results! As an extension, consider having your own zoo animal races - students choose which animal they want to be then hop, slither, lope, gallop, etc. their way to the finish line. Compare the results of these races to the actual data collected on animal speed. Were the results similar?