Saturday, March 12, 2016

Animal Characteristics

Engage Activities:

Read and talk about the book:
What would you do if something was trying to eat you? Steve Jenkins

We enjoyed playing the
Camouflage game from

Sort a box of fruit loops or other multi-colored cereal by color, placing the same number of each

color in a bag.

Scatter the cereal outdoors in the grass.

Divide the children into groups.

When a signal is given, one member from each group must run out into the grass and pick up one

piece of cereal to bring back to the group.

After each child has had a turn, combine each group’s findings.

Ask the students which colors were found the most, and which the least. Why was it harder to find

the green? Explain that some animals’ body coverings have colors or patterns that help them to hide

from their enemies.

As we discussed animal characteristics unit,
I hid our friend Cham the chameleon around the room.  Student who found it had to explain what it is to camouflage, then they got to hide it for the next class to come. (I teach two groups of science AM?PM) Idea from 

I also showed kids pictures of real animals that camouflage to protect themsleves from predators. because they are small or slow.  The site contains other content, preview before showing this page. I only used the animal pictures because they amazing, and then I closed the link. :) 

Concept development:

Eyes - use cutout of animal masks with the shapes of animal eyes

Ears- use cups of different sizes to mimic the way animals use their ears

Feet and Limbs- match the footprint to the animal from StemScopes (district resource)
Using their fists and washable paint, the kids recreate the animal footprints on butcher paper

Teeth and feet-  

Body Coverings-
Use an oven mitten to insert hand in ice cold water.  This will help the students understand that animal coverings can help some animals stay warm, others use their skins to stay cool.
Sort cards of animals according to their body coverings from TpT (free)
Create a texture board for scales- net, fur- faux fur pieces, feathers.


Behavior- create a behaviors anchor chart

Super animal- create a super animal using a variety of animal characteristics combined. ex. huge ears, huge eyes, beak, tail, scales, etc...

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