Sunday, May 24, 2015

Exploring Animal Habitats


This past week we were busy diving into our Animal Habitat unit!  The kiddos always love this unit and so do we!  That's what makes it perfect for the end of the year...it is engaging enough to keep the kiddos motivated!  

We start the unit with this organizer.  We use Brain Pop Jr. to learn about different habitats.  After watching the short video, kiddos draw an animal that lives in the habitat on the recorder.  You can click the picture to grab the organizer!


https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4oqs3dO-goOU2dEdWRvNDhYYUk/edit

Next, kiddos select an animal they will study and research.  This year, we have a school subscription to Pebble Go and it is a miracle!  Pebble Go delivers Nonfiction in the perfect format for our young learners.  It is easy to read or listen to and the facts are laid out so nicely!


After selecting an animal to research, kiddos began their Mystery Animal project.  They draw the animal's habitat on the outside flap and on the inside flap, they draw the animal.  On the back of the project, they glue on their facts they researched as "clues."  They love to read them aloud to the class and let others guess their animal!



Now comes the part the kiddos usually LOVE the most...Habitat Dioramas!  Kiddos begin with making a model of their animal (the same one they researched) using Model Magic clay.  



After the clay animals have dried, they are ready to be painted!


With the animals painted and drying, the kiddos were ready to move onto their dioramas!  We started first with painting in the diorama to look like the animal's habitat.



Once the dioramas dried, kiddos started to add fun crafty things to make the habitat look more realistic.  Here's a sample of some things we used:


In the past, we've asked parents to donate items to the classroom and it has lasted us a couple years!  We collected things like sand, small rocks, fake moss, fake flowers, feathers, pom poms (to be bushes, suns, clouds), raffia ribbon (looks like hay, straw, grass), Easter grass, colored tissue paper.

The final products are so neat to look at and the kiddos are SO proud to show them off!!




We display them around the room in preparation for our upcoming Learning Celebration with families coming to class.



As a final wrap up to our animal unit, we had some fun with a Target Dollar Spot find....Animal Grow Capsules.  In partner groups, kiddos watched their capsules grow.




After their animals were finished "growing," kiddos had to do a writing about their animal.  Once again, we used Pebble Go as our resource for animal research.  Kiddos wrote one fact about their animal, such as "Giraffes can...."  After finishing the writing piece, kiddos sponge painted their animal at the top of the paper.  We will turn this into a class book next week and share the facts we found!




1 comment:

  1. We did this today and had a blast! Keep the end of the year posts coming!

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