1-2-3 Come Do Some Zoo Animal Activities With Me
Are you planning a year-end field trip to the zoo? If so, I think you'll enjoy looking over these before and after-you-go, zoo activities.
Studying a variety of animals was always a fun theme for my Y5's and me. I didn't have a specific zoo theme with them, because I didn't want to steal the thunder from our first grade teachers. When I taught 1st grade that field trip was a much-looked-forward-to "ed-venture," culminating with our animal reports.
However, I know that lots of preschoolers and kinders all over the map visit the zoo, especially at the end of the year. After all, June is National Zoo Month, so why not! With that in mind, I decided to whip together some "zoo stuff" that you could review with your kiddos before their trip, as well as some activities you could do with them afterwards.
I have a huge collection of animal and zoo books, so I thought I'd make an alphabetical list of all my super-duper zoo-per favorites. It was a difficult task narrowing down my 3 boxes of these themed books, but I finally came up with 90.
I always tried to read some non-fiction books along with all the wonderful fictional storybooks, and have included them in my list, such as the job of a zookeeper. If you do a community helpers unit, these would be quick and easy read-alouds for that too. Click on the link to view/download the list of 90 Favorite Zoo books.
I really enjoy making templates for programmable notes home to parents, using cute clip art, so I whipped together a "We're Goin' On A Fieldtrip" form featuring dj Inkers sweet creatures.
Simply write in your data and you're good to go. Another item in the Zoo Fieldtrip Packet are some zoo scavenger hunts.
I sent my students on all sorts of scavenger hunts throughout the year.
They truly enjoyed them and learned a lot along the way, so I designed two zoo scavenger hunts that involve the alphabet.
I never liked to have my students holding things in their hands when we were on a field trip, stuff got dropped and slopped or lost.
Tears would ensue and something that was meant to be helpful became a hindrance.
Thus I suggest sharing the scavenger hunt with children before hand, so they are aware of what they need to be on the look out for.
Teachers can carry a copy on a clipboard with an attached pen. When someone spies something that begins with that letter or is on the list, you can check it off, circle it, or jot it down depending on what form you choose to use.
Once back, students can circle animals that they saw that are on the alphabetical list, or they can fill in something that they saw that begins with each letter of the alphabet.
You can make this a bit more interesting by having a competition between your students or another class that also went on the field trip, to see who got the most points.
Since we have a huge Hispanic population in our school, I tried to teach some Spanish words with each unit. My students really enjoyed learning new words and parents were pretty impressed when they shared their new-found vocabulary at home.
With this in mind, I included a list of Animals in English as well as Spanish.
There's also an alphabetical order worksheet, where students trace and write the animals in alphabetical order.
Finally, there's a "We Went To The Zoo" class book activity. I've designed a black and white as well as full-color cover, plus a template for the inside pages.
Students complete the prompts and draw a picture. (I've included a sample for you to share.)
Teachers collect and collate their pages into a zoo book. Read it as a whole group. When you come to a particular student's page, they read it.
Click on the link to view/download the Zoo Field Trip packet.
While working on these activities I wondered about students who don't live near a zoo, or teachers who don't have the time or the budget to take their students on a field trip, so I started researching virtual zoos online.
After several hours of work, I came up with a list of my top eight, the San Diego Zoo was one of my favorites.
I chose them because they were kid-friendly, contained live animal cams, videos, games, activities and a plethora of photographs with interesting information, which would be helpful for any animal report your kiddos might be working on. Click on the link to view/download the Virtual Zoo list.
Thanks for visiting today. As always, feel free to PIN away. My Pin It button is at the top on the menu bar. Be sure to stay tuned, as I'll be working on more zoo-themed activities the rest of this week.
"Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings!" -Evan Esar