Skip Navigation

Let's Take "Part" in the Study of Animals

Main Core Tie

Science - Kindergarten
Standard 4 Objective 2


Darlynn Menlove


Students will learn about the parts that make up animals.




  • Several live animals to observe and discuss
  • Black line of animal parts (pdf) to be placed under headings on the board
  • Chart paper to list animals and animal parts
  • Writing Books for students
  • The game, "Snorta," (or use any small plastic animals to follow the directions for "Snorta")
  • Whiteboard


  • Baby Animals in the Wild, by Gallimard Jeunesse, ISBN 0-4392-9722-2
  • Whose Toes are Those?, by Joyce Elias and Cathy Sturm, ISBN 0-8120-6215-9
  • Duckat, by Gaelyn Gordon, ISBN 0-5907-2846-6
  • Whose Nose and Toes, by John Butler, ISBN 0-670-05904-8
  • Hello Baby!, by Mem Fox, ISBN 978-1-4169-8513-6
  • Oodles of Animals, by Lois Ehlert, ISBN 974-0-15-206274-3


  • Going to the Zoo (CD), Tom Paxton
  • Day At the Zoo (CD), NorthSound Music Group

Background for Teachers

Students should have been introduced to the animal groups of birds, fish, mammals, insects and reptiles. These are all animals that would be a part of a child's world through books, observations, and pets. The teacher may want to read several books about animals and discuss the parts that make up each animal. Vocabulary: skin, fur, feathers, scales, hands, wing, flipper, fin.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn:

Launch (Introduction): 30 minutes

  1. Arrange with a few parents of your kindergarten students to bring a pet to observe in the classroom, or out on the lawn. The pets should be mammals (dog), birds, fish, reptiles, and an insect in a jar.
  2. As the students observe each animal, one at a time, ask the students to touch the part of their body that hears, touch the part of their body that sees, touch the part of their body that walks, and eats.
  3. Ask the students this question, "What part of a dog can hear, see, walk, and hold food? Repeat this question with a bird, a fish, a reptile and an insect.
  4. Compare and contrast the difference in the answers.

Instructional Procedures:

Explore (Individual and Small Group Work): 15 minutes

  1. In the classroom invite several students to come up to the board and place an animal part (see attached blackline) that they observed under one of the heading: See, Hear, Eat, and Move. Each student will have a different attribute of an animal and will place it under the current heading. The students may work together in small groups to agree on where to place the parts.
  2. Compare and contrast what is alike and what is different with the parts placed on the board by making a circle on a chart paper. Write the words, "body parts" in the circle. Then make another larger circle, thus creating a circle map. Inside the outer circle, write the body parts the children name from their observations.
  3. Ask the children to choose a part of one of the animals and use their writing books to explain what the part is and how it is used. The students may share the writing with a partner and compare what they have learned.

Discuss (Whole Group Discussion): (5 minutes)

At the carpet, discuss with the children the following questions:

  1. What body parts do mammals use to move, to hear and eat?
  2. What body parts do birds use to move, to hear and eat?
  3. What body parts do fish use to move, to hear and eat?
  4. What body parts do reptiles use to move, to hear and eat?
  5. What body parts would an insect use to move, to hear and eat?

Solidify (Closure): (5 minutes)

Turn and tell a partner something you learned about animal parts. Each student will sort the correct animal part under an animal picture (see attached blackline).

Practice (Review): (20 minutes)

Introduce and model for the children the rules for playing the game "Snorta" (found at WalMart).

Divide the students into small groups and give each one a small plastic animal. The student chooses what sound the animal says. Each student also has a small plastic barn. The students in a given group will try to memorize what each animal sound is. Then the students place their animal into the barn so that it cannot be seen. Next, each student will take an animal card from a deck of animal cards. The student turns his/her card face up, and the next student does the same. They continue doing this quickly until a new card is turned that matches the previous card's animal. Each student tries to be the first one to say the animal sound. If he/she is first, he/she gets to keep the card. The object of the game is to gather the most cards. Once everyone has had a chance to enjoy this game for a time, you may change the rules of the game so that each student identifies with a skin type of his/her animal. Once the animals are hidden in the barn, the students that match a card will try to be the first to say the skin of that animal. Then play this on subsequent days changing the rule to saying nose type, or how many legs or what type of feet, or hands. The students will really enjoy this.

Additional Lesson Activities:

Mixed Up Animals

Teacher will hand out an 8 _" x 11" sheet of white art paper to each student. Students fold the paper into thirds horizontally, so that they have three parts of the paper. The student draws the head of an animal on the first part, a body of the same animal on the second part, and the legs and feet of the same animal on the bottom part of the paper. The students color the animal's skin the correct color. Gather the papers and bind them into a book. Cut through the lines on each paper, leaving about an inch from the binding. The students can enjoy reading the book and changing the parts of each animal into creative creatures.

Animal Poems Read several poems from the book, Animals, Animals, by Eric Carle. Discuss the different styles of the many poetry authors contained in the book. Discuss the rhyming and descriptive words that make up each poem. Have the students brainstorm a poem about an animal and its parts. Write an interactive writing piece that the children compose. Hang it in the Reading Center. Then have the students try to write their own poem about an animal including its parts. Display their poetry in the room.

Animal Classifying

Type several short word lists (pdf) of animal parts that would fit a particular animal. Place each word list in a sheet protector. Place four or five animal pictures on the tables in your room. Divide the students into small groups and ask them to read the word list and place it under the correct animal. Tell them that you want to see how quickly they can read and identify the animal.

Language/Writing About Birds

Have the students draw a picture of a kind of bird. Compile the pictures into a class book. Stack the pictures upside down so that children must turn the page to see each picture. On the back of each picture write: "Who has a beak? Take a peek!" Turn the page and write the following below the picture: "A ________is a bird. A ________ had a beak!" Be sure to put the name of the bird in the blank.

Animal Math

Have the students look at pictures of an animals (pdf) and determine how many legs each animal has.

Have the students sort the pictures according to the number of legs each animal has.

Have the children write the number that tells how many legs the animals in each group have on an index card and then order the groups by the number of legs.

For an extension, have the children add the number of legs in one picture with the number of legs in the next picture and write that on an index card. This could be done in centers (see attached blackline (pdf)).

Animal Movement

Ask the students these questions:

  • How do you move inside?
  • How do you move on the playground?
  • How do you move at the pool?
  • How do you move as a baby?

Show the children a variety of animal pictures. Be sure to use animals that move in various ways.

Ask the children to move like each animal in the picture. Classify the movement by whether they walk/run, fly, swim, or hop/leap/jump. Ask the students whether the animals move in water, land or air.

Animal Eating

Begin a discussion by asking the children what body parts they use to eat. Ask them how they eat these kinds of foods:

  • A milkshake (sucking through a straw)
  • Corn on the cob (front teeth)
  • Chewing gum (back teeth)
  • A glass of milk (drinking through lips)
  • An ice cream come (licking with tongue)
  • Hard candy (sucking in mouth)

Show children a variety of animal pictures, being sure to include animals that use many different types of body parts for eating (for example, elephants, hummingbird, parrot, bear, fish, frog, butterfly, giraffe, cat, snake, alligator). Ask the children how each animal would eat using words like sucking, licking, using teeth, etc.

Animal Match-Up: "I Have -- Who Has"

Students will each be given an animal part card (see attached blackline). They will stand in a circle. Each student has a turn to walk up to someone else and say (for example): "I have a leg, who has a tail?" They will continue asking each other until they find all the parts of an animal. The first group to complete his/her animal wins.

Hokey Pokey (Animal Style)

Students can enjoy movement activities with the Hokey Pokey with a twist. Sing the song, with the students in a circle, but tell them to do this in "bird style," such as, "Put your right wing in, your left wing in and shake it all about, do the Hokey Pokey and you fly yourself around. That's what it's all about." Continue with your beak in, beak out, your tail feathers in, your tail feathers out, you webbed feet in, your webbed feet out. Then switch to fish style (with fins, gills, bulging eyes, and swim all about). Create other ways for a retile, a mammal and in insect.


  • To challenge students to higher-level thinking, have them draw an animal and label each body part. Ask them to add the words that describe the sounds the animal makes. Advanced students may have a homework assignment to pick an animal that they are unfamiliar with and research the animal and its parts, putting together a presentation with the pictures and writing to be shared in class
  • For a math connection to higher-level thinking, ask questions such as: If there was a dog, sheep and a cow in a barn, how many legs would there be in all? If you saw a duck, a bird, and a goose, how many wings in all? How many beaks? How many webbed feet?
  • Children who need more practice may work on puzzles of animal parts with a parent helper or peer tutor. Then do so again and practice saying what the function of the body part is.

Family Connections:

Send home an activity sheet instructing the students to identify animal parts as they take a walk with their parents and observe animals that they see. They could buy some animal crackers and put frosting on several, then stripe them with chocolate syrup, and say the sound that the animal makes as they eat them. Have the students draw their favorite pet at home and label the parts of its body.

Assessment Plan

  • Informal assessment will consist of checking the student's writing books and observing as they place animal parts under proper heading.
  • Formal assessment will consist of the individual student sorting the correct animal part under an animal.

Created: 04/30/2011
Updated: 02/05/2018