1 class periods of 30 minutes each
This is a great lab to do before you attend a zoo field trip. Students
sort pictures or small plastic animals into groups. Students classify animals as to
where they live; whether they have scales, feathers, or hair; and whether they
have hands, wings, flippers, or fins.
This lab can be completed as stations in which one set of each
supply is needed or you can make multiple sets of all three activities.
- Animal sorting pages
- For activity 1: If you have a supply of small plastic animals they can be used
here. If not, you can find pictures. Find at least 5 animals for each environment.
- For activity 2: Pictures work best because the students can observe the
animal's outer covering more easily. Find at least 5 pictures for each outer
covering. A great source of pictures is old copies of Ranger Rick, Backyard Barn,
or National Geographic.
- For activity 3: Pictures again work best. Find at least 4 pictures for each type
Background for Teachers
Classification is an important science skill. In kindergarten, students will
begin to learn to classify animals by sorting them into groups. As students sort,
they observe similarities and differences in a variety of animals.
Intended Learning Outcomes
- Framing questions. Designing investigations. Conducting
investigations. Drawing conclusions.
- Developing social interaction skills with peers. Sharing ideas with
pers. Connecting ideas with reasons.
- Ideas are supported by reasons. Communication of ideas in
science is important for helping to check the reasons for ideas.
Pre-acivity discussion: Show students the sorting pages.
Have students give examples of animals with hair/fur, scales, and feathers.
Discuss different types of animal appendages and ask for examples of animals
with hands, fins, flippers, and wings. Finally, show students the three
environments and ask for animals that would live in each of them.
- Animals that live on land, in the water, or both. Students will use an
assortment of small plastic animals and place them on their proper environment
page. Have students take turns and decide where they think the animal lives;
then, as a group, decide if the animal was placed appropriately.
- Animals that have scales, feathers or hair/fur. Students will use an
assortment of pictures of animals and place them on either a scale, feather, or
fur page. Have students take turns and decide what type of covering they think
the animal pictured has; then, as a group, decide if the picture was placed
- Animals that have hands, wings, flippers, or fins. Students will use an
assortment of pictures of animals and place them on either a hand, wing, flipper,
or fin page. Have students take turns and decide what type of appendage they
think the animal pictured has; then, as a group, decide if the picture was placed
Rio Tinto Hands-on Science Curriculum Team
- Ms. Rae Louie -- Administrator, Principal Beacon Heights Elementary
- Emily Mortensen -- Grant writer, teacher outreach, 2nd grade teacher at Beacon Heights Elementary
- Ruth Li -- Curriculum design, K-6 Science Educator at Indian Hills Elementary
- Deirdre Straight -- Curriculum development, K-6 Science Educator at Beacon Heights Elementary
- Tim Rausch -- Website development, Library Media at Beacon Heights Elementary