All About Animals

Just recently, we wrapped up one of my favorite units to teach in science…
Can you guess what it might be?


I can’t help myself… every year I look forward to this unit :0)
It’s a topic that ALL students are familiar with. It’s also something that children LOVE to learn about. Can you blame them?

What’s great is that it doesn’t matter how much of an animal expert you might think you are (my boys usually think they deserve this title from day 1), with a topic as broad as animals you’re bound to learn something new!

I like to break up our unit in two… vertebrates and invertebrates. We also always begin with vertebrates since students are most familiar with this group.

What I find interesting is that although students seem more familiar with vertebrates, they only make up 3% of all animals. Can you believe that? I was shocked when I first read that! As a matter of fact, according to the latest research and data, 97% of all animals actually belong to the invertebrates family … interesting, huh? If you’d like to check out more interesting facts about animals, feel free to visit the World Animal Foundation.

Ok… so let’s get started…

Whenever I begin a new science topic, I like to gather a few different books on the subject and have them readily available on my board for students to read on their own.

These books were HUGE HITS with my kids!


I also like to start off with a video to introduce the topic, provide students with a visual they can begin associating with, and let’s not forget… to get those brain juices flowing!
(Plus- My kiddos really pay attention to Moby!)


Next, we dove right into our vertebrates book that comes from my handy dandy  Vertebrates Unit.

I’ve used these books for a few years now.

Each page is dedicated to a different animal group and  explains in kid friendly language important characteristics of each group of vertebrates. We focus on skin type, how their babies are born, whether they are warm blooded or cold blooded, where their primary habitats are located, and how they breathe.

Take a peak at some of our learning!

Isn’t that penguin simply ADORABLE!
Turtles laying their eggs in the sand.
The frogs sticky tongue at work…
Take a look at that live baby in it’s mother’s belly, and the platypus laying eggs.

The platypus was a REAL SHOCKER for my class! How could a mammal lay eggs?
This was another great example of “the exception to the rule” that we’ve spoken about a few times this year.

We also created a graphic organizer to help us compare and contrast different animals.
One thing that I am VERY DISAPPOINTED about, is that we were NOT able to get to complete our Animal Craftivity project. With our state testing right around the corner we’ve had to make some sacrifices… (Sigh…. I’m hoping to get back to these towards the end of the year once testing has concluded… YAY!!!!)
Click the picture to download instructions for this FREEBIE!
This project is so much FUN for the kiddos, a GREAT way for them to show all the knowledge they’ve gained, PERFECT for those tactile/ visual learners, and an EXCELLENT assessment tool.
Patterns included
If you’d like to read more about this resource, click here Also, if you’d like to download a FREE copy, click on any of the pictures.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a sneak peek into our classroom!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    February 26, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Looks like a lot of fun ways to get kids engaged in learning! Nicely done!

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