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English Language Arts Kindergarten
Reading: Literature Standard 2
This 3-day activity reinforces what students have learned about animals. The activities focus on pets: cats, dogs, birds, and fish.
The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss; ISBN 039480001X
Baby Animals, by Angela Royston; ISBN 0689715633
Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman; ISBN-10: 067988629X ISBN-13: 978-0679886297
What Is a Fish?, by Lola M. Schaefer; ISBN 0736808655
Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister; ISBN 1558580093
Are You My Mother?, by P.D. Eastman: ISBN-10: 0679890475 ISBN-13: 978-0679890478
What Is a Bird?, by Lola M. Schaefer; ISBN 0736808647
A Nest Full of Eggs, by Priscilla B. Jenkins; ISBN 0785761411
Camp Paws and Claws is a three day activity that reinforces what students have learned throughout the year about animals. For each activity, a different group of animals is studied. These activities focus on pets: cats, dogs, birds, and fish. Students will re-read both fiction and non-fiction stories that have been previously introduced during the school year. As they read the books, they will have activities to complete in order to earn their badge for that animal. Each student will make a paper bag vest on which they will be able to display badges they have earned.
Camp can also have many extra activities added that will create a more camp like environment, or it can be just part of the school day. One activity is a daily camp message that either the teacher or students compose on paper that looks like a tree or log. Another fun activity is to make a camp stew that is a variety of favorite breakfast cereals in a large pot over a pretend fire. Teachers can also set up a tent in their classroom for a fun reading area.
In order for your students to be successful for these activities of Camp Paws and Claws, you should instruct them on the following items. They should understand realistic and unrealistic behaviors of pets, understand the process of how an egg hatches, identify parts of animals, and understand that some animals are make believe characters, and some are real animals.
Several of the books selected should be ones most of the children are familiar with already, and ones that might already be in your library. I selected them so that it would be easy to teach Camp Paws and Claws, and to hopefully eliminate having to buy several books.
One item the students will make is a Science Journal. The science journal can be made with either plain white paper or with lined paper. Take cardboard or cardstock and punch holes in it. Tie the journal together with jute or yarn to make it appear rustic. At anytime during camp you can have the students pull out their journals and respond to a question or a picture you show them. Depending on the ability level of the students, you may choose to allow them to respond with pictures, words, or sentences.
1. Observe, describe, draw, and compare familiar animals.
2. Describe how young animals are different from adult animals.
3. Observe and imitate the sounds and movements of animals with songs, dances, and storytelling.
4. Distinguish between real and make-believe animal behaviors.
Invitation to Learn
Favorite Pet Graph
The choices on the graph should be cat, dog, fish, and bird. To allow the activity to be completed by all children the graph should have a picture and the word of each animal. Give each child a small yellow post-it note. Allow the class a few minutes to write their name on the note and have them put their name under which pet animal is their favorite.
Group students into four small groups or complete activities as a class. Each animal will have a tub with all materials necessary to complete the activities to earn the badge. Explain all activities to children prior to allowing them to go to the centers. In each tub keep an example so that students know what to do.
Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration
Joshua, M. (2007). The effects of pictures and prompts on the writing of students in primary grades: Action Research by Graduate Students at California State University, Northridge. Action in Teacher Education. 29(2) 80-93.
Picture aided writing and drawing are more effective in primary grades than prompts alone. However, picture aides can hinder student creativity and therefore should be paired with student ability and background knowledge.
Michael, J. (2006). Wheres the evidence that active learning works? Advances in Physiology Education. 30. 159-167.
This research article states the effectiveness of student- centered active learning. Research has proved the effectiveness and improvement of learning in active and passive styles of teaching. Learning should match the needs and personalities of the students.