This 3-day activity reinforces what students have learned about animals. The activities focus on farm animals: cows, pigs, hens and ducks.
- Three Little Pig Houses
- Hay or raffia
- Pretzel sticks
- Red construction paper
- Drawing paper
- Craft stick
- Animal Badges
- Paper vest
- Science Journals
- Student lab coats
- Black Bingo marker
- Cow models
- Large jar
- Whipping cream
- Mrs. Wishy Washy Characters
- Brown paint
Background for Teachers
Camp Paws and Claws is a three-part activity that reinforces what
students have learned throughout the year about animals. For this
particular activity, students will learn about farm animals. They will
learn about cows, pigs, hens, and ducks. Camp Paws and Claws
provides several activities for students to earn badges for each animal.
As the teacher, you can decide if students should complete all activities
or only some.
Camp Paws and Claws can be done as a whole class or broken up
into centers. If camp activities are broken up into centers, you should
thoroughly explain each activity to the children. Also, you should
provide written or picture instructions based on the needs of your
Prior to teaching Camp Paws and Claws, teachers should give an
overview of the farm animals--ducks, pigs, cows, and hens. Students
should be able to discuss realistic and unrealistic behaviors of farm
animals, what adult and baby animals are called, identify and discuss
various parts of farm animals, identify which animals live on a farm,
and identify initial sounds of words.
Intended Learning Outcomes
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
Sing Old McDonald Had A Farm as a class. Discuss the various
animals that can be on a farm and the sounds they make.
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.
- Have the students read the book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That
- Make a cow puppet. On cardstock, print the Cow master and
have students cut it out. Using a black Bingo marker, put the
black spots on the cow. Attach the cow to a craft stick or a
paper bag. When puppet is finished, have a group orally tell
a story using their cow puppets. The story can have realistic
and unrealistic cow behaviors.
- Read, Animal Babies, the section on cows. In the tub have
three-dimensional models of a mother cow and her baby.
Have the students draw a picture of a cow and calf in their
- When they are finished, they may cut out and color the cow
badge and glue it to their vest.
- Have the students read the book, Three Little Pigs. Have the
students as a group orally sequence the events in the story.
Make sure they discuss the order in which the homes were
built in and what materials were used to build the houses.
The teacher or another adult should be rotating the room and
listening to the discussion of students to determine level of
- The Little Pig House Activity. Decorate the three houses the
pigs made and write what material the house was made from.
The first house is made of hay and students use hay or raffia
to cover the house. The second house is made of sticks and
students will use pretzel sticks to cover the house. The third
house is bricks and students will use red construction paper
rectangles and a triangle to cover the house. In the pig tub the
teacher should include the words: hay, sticks, and bricks on
cards. Students will practice using initial sounds to determine
which word goes with what house.
- In Animal Babies, read the section on piglets. Have students
orally identify the various parts of a piglet with a friend.
- When all activities are complete, the children may color and cut
out their pig badge.
- Read the book, Little Red Hen. Orally discuss with a friend ways
they can be helpful at home and school.
- Make butter. This activity needs an adult present and should
be done as a whole class. Have the students put on their "lab
coats". Lab coats are men's long sleeve dress shirts (or even
short sleeved will work). Have the students use their science
journals to determine what would happen if they mix cream
and a marble in a jar. Have the students either draw a picture
or write in their science journals what they predict will happen.
Discuss with the students what cream is and where it comes
from. The process of making butter takes 20-30 minutes. When
the butter is finished, you will need to add salt to taste. Have
the students all take turns and shake the jar. Explain that you
need everyone to help in order for it to be successful. If one
person tried to do it their arms would get very tired. Then,
discuss as a class how the little red hen could have had an easier
time if all the animals had helped her.
- Give students a piece of white and wheat bread to use to sample
the butter with. Graph which they liked better using their
name on a yellow post-it note. The graph can be drawn on the
board and as a class discuss the results of your graph.
- Have the students write a post card home telling their parents
about making butter. Give each student a quarter sheet of
construction paper. On one side they will draw a picture about
farm animals. On the other side they will tell their parents
about making butter. Have them fill out their science journals
again with their results if they were right or wrong about
their predictions. This can be done with words or pictures
depending on the ability of the student.
- Students can then color and cut out their hen badge.
- Read Mrs. Wishy Washy. As a group review the order of the
animals in the story orally and with pictures.
- Create a craft stick puppet for each animal. The puppet will
be two sided. On one side the animal will be clean and on the
other side the students will finger paint brown mud on the
- Have the students retell the events of the story with their
puppets. They should show the correct side of the puppet while
retelling the story.
- Feather Science Experiment. This is an activity for the whole
class and an adult is needed. If possible, collect feathers from
ducks. Place the feathers in water and show how the feather
does not absorb water. In the science journals have the
students write or draw the reason they feel a ducks' feathers
do not get wet when in water. Tell the students that duck's
feathers have a special coating that allows them to stay dry.
Take regular feathers and place them in water. The feathers get
very wet. Allow the students to use Crisco to cover the regular
feathers to simulate the protective coating and place the feathers
in water. Allow them time to explain what they learned to you.
Have them record their results in the science journal.
- When finished, have the students color and cut out their duck
- Have them write sentences or phrases in their science journals
instead of just pictures.
- Pair up an advanced student with a student who struggles to
provide them assistance.
- Each animal includes several activities. As a teacher you can
decide to do all activities or select one that you feel would be
best for your students.
- Have the parents write a postcard to their child to bring back
to school the next day. The children will be taking home a
postcard about making butter, and their parents write them a
note and bring it to school the next day.
- Retell the story of Mrs. Wishy Washy.
- Have them tell their parents about ducks' feathers and the
coating that protects them from getting wet.
- Collect and assess science journals at the end of the day.
- Have the students retell the story of Mrs. Wishy Washy using
- Observe students and their reactions as you complete the Duck
Feather Experiment. Ask questions to determine understanding
and thinking during the process.
- Discuss various farm animals with the students and have them
tell you what they have learned.
Church, E. (2003). Scientific thinking: step-by-step. Scholastic Early Childhood Today. 6(4)
In the primary grades, children are learning about science and
the world. Science skills--observe, compare, sort, organize, predict,
experiment, evaluate and apply are essential to their learning. It
is important for students to understand the process involved with
experimenting in science.
LeVine, J. (2002). Teaching ideas: writing letters to support literacy. The Reading Teacher. 56
The more students write the more proficient they become. A
simple daily message can include daily activities or another message to
the students will enable children to read some of the message early in
the school year.