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Science Lesson Plan Links: Animals, Grades K-1

Science Lesson Plan Links: Animals, Grades K-1


Science: Reference the chart at the back of the featured book Biggest, Strongest, Fastest to discuss what each animal eats, and introduce the terms carnivore, herbivore, and omnivore as a segue to the study of habitats and ecosystems.

Math: Make a list together of all of the mathematical and/or measurement words in the text (italicized in vocabulary list). Discuss the meanings of these words as related to the visual graph on each page showing the animals’ size, strength, height, speed, voltage, and life span. Reference the chart at the back of the book for specific information regarding each animal’s size. Bring in some animals for students to measure/weigh. Recreate to-scale drawings of some animals. You may also have students create a Venn diagram to compare/contrast two animals or groups.

History: Discuss in depth the meaning of the word record. Explore the current Guinness Book of World Records and/or visit the website: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com. Choose some categories and research the many types of ‘record holders’ of the world throughout history. You may also wish to discuss some geographic records, such as the tallest mountain, deepest sea, etc.

Geography: Make a list together of the types of general habitats in which these animals live. Reference the chart at the back of the book for information about specific habitats and continents/ranges. Use a map to find these locations and create markers for each animal. Have students choose a range to research, such as the Galapagos Islands: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/earth/galapagosislands.html.

Grammar: Discuss the use of the superlative adjectives in this text: biggest, smallest, strongest, fastest, slowest, tallest, largest, and longest. Have students provide the root word and comparative adjective for each. Create a list together of superlative adjectives with their root words and comparatives. These may be generic or apply to specific animals (e.g., cutest, scariest, calmest, toughest).

Vocabulary: Have students group vocabulary words into categories: animals, measurement words, action words, descriptive words, etc. Create word clouds and add to them. Do a study together of unfamiliar words. Have students practice inferring meaning from context, as they did in their close reading for the word flexible.

Writing: Have students write a short report about something they have learned about animals from the text(s) or from their research. Have younger students draw a labeled picture and/or dictate sentences. Students may also respond to the following writing prompts:

  • Which record-holder animal were you most surprised about, and why?
  • Which animal would you add to this book about amazing record holders, and why?
  • Why do you think there are more mammals than any other animal group in this book?

Poetry: Select a poem about animals to read to students from the National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry or another source. Have students write short poems about their favorite animal.

Art: Have students choose an animal from the text and draw or sculpt it. Encourage them to include a surrounding habitat, detailed body parts, labels, and captions. Have students choose either a favorite animal from the text or from their research and create a ‘My Super-Star Animal’ poster with text and images.

Music: Sing songs together about animals. Choose well-known songs such as ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ or others from this website: http://www.songsforteaching.com/animalsongsforyoungstudents.htm

Drama: Have students act out different animals. Have the class guess which animal it is based on the types of movements, sounds, and other characteristics.