All Ages Lesson: All About Animals
Today we are learning about all the different types of animals in this wonderful world. It is a sharp and cold day and staying inside is what we ended up doing most of the day. I had a lot of fun planning a day to learn about animals, and my kids still braved the cold for playtime! Mum stayed inside with a hot cup of tea.
We started our lesson by reading Big Dog and Little Dog by Dav Pilkey. While we read I always try to be as interactive as possible to keep them engaged. Big Dog wanted a sweater just like Little Dog. So we pretended to pull to get the sweater on (just like in the book) and we searched for a fitting sweater. Finally, we did find a sweater big enough to fit Big Dog. I found this book at our local library.
Thanks to a 1996 copy of Copy Cat Magazine we made our own name tags. Each of my kids made their own mouse name tag necklace and mouse name tag stand-up, even the baby had one made for him by the kids. We colored them and all of my kids wrote their names twice. Either they wrote their own name or they wrote what letters they knew and I helped them write the rest of their letters. No matter what age, I always feel like practicing to write your name well is important. Learning to write your name turns into practicing and perfecting your signature.
In this picture, you can see the name tags and their little mini books on glowing creatures.
Our next story was Clara and Clem Under The Sea by Ethan Long. Another book from our local Lincoln Memorial Library. This book has few words but cute illustrations and it is a great interactive book. It is very easy for beginning readers and the pictures are perfect for all my kids (ages 1-8). We saw sharks, swam with the fish, and tried to carry buried treasure. You don’t need toys or costumes to pretend you are in the story. We act and use huge motions. We even hugged a shark! This was a fun book that we read twice because the kids had so much fun pretending while I was reading it.
This story leads to us making our own mini-books to read and color. Living Lights which I found in another old Copy Cat issue. This book has more sea life animals in it which is why we made the book. It has many animals and plants that glow in the dark. I inserted a blank page in the back and middle so each of my kids could write and draw what else they knew that glows. We had a lot of “Fire Flys” as answers.
We read two more stories after we made our book. We read I Love You All The Same by Donna Keith, which is a story of bears who are all different types of bears and a sweet learning resource about loving everyone for their differences (even though one would rather eat bamboo than honey). Then we read a big board book with bold pictures; The Jungle made by Bendon Publishing International. The board book has few words but is another good interactive book where we looked for leopards, flew and squawked like parrots, slithered like snakes, and caught butterflies. Catching butterflies lead us to making our own butterflies out of coffee filters and pipe cleaners and caterpillars out of egg cartons, eyes, and pipe cleaners. When we finished our critters we then made our bookmarks for each book we read. I like making bookmarks as much as possible and when we have a big learning day like today its fun to be creative and make a fitting bookmark for each book we have read.
Then it was everyone’s favorite time of our animal day lesson, Music Time. We started by singing Old McDonald Had a Farm and I let my kids pick the animals that were on the farm. We had many bumblebees, dogs, and even alligators on our farm. After, each of my kids sang a song about animals or made up one.
I bought a cool book at the Dollar Tree, my favorite store. It is a sticker book titled My First Book of Stickers: Lots of Animals Big and Small. This book has stickers to match with shadows, mazes, word searches, and more. It is a great activity book and works well with a group like mine and also alone. It has 100 stickers to match so we definitely didn’t finish it and my younger three do not have the attention span to do all 100 stickers in the book. My oldest does though and she did a lot of it on her own. When the younger kiddos lost interest in the sticker book we brought the legos and blocks out and we built our own zoos and farms and animals.
It was a really fun day and I hope it inspires your own schooling time at home or in the classroom.
If you liked this lesson. You and your kids will really like Lesson: Saola. Learn about the most unknown animal in the world.
By Ashley Elizabeth Mitchell; Updated; March 21st, 2020