Let’s Meet the Animals Workshop
Activity designed for primary year one and two students.
The students learn about the principal characteristics of the five groups of vertebrates. They work on aspects such as the external layer, how they move, their size and the food that the animals eat.
When the activity finishes, the group can spend the rest of the day at the Zoo, until closing time.
Duration: : 2 hours
Start time: 10.00 am – 10.30 am – 12.00 pm – 12.30 pm – 2.00 pm
Let's get ready
To get the maximum benefit from the Let’s Meet the Animals Workshop, we recommend that you do some work at school on the following aspects before taking the workshop, both by talking about experiences and in other areas (art, body expression, oral and written expression, maths, etc.):
To understand the students’ interests and increase motivation about the animals:
- Make a mural in class where you write down and/or draw the things that the children want to know about the animals.
- Put a box in the classroom where students can place the questions they may have at any time and later study them.
- Collect books, stories, songs, photos, cards, worksheets or other materials about the animals that the children can obtain.
To observe animals:
- Have a fish tank so they can watch living animals.
- Ask the students who have pets at home to bring them to school to show them to the rest of the class and study them. (This can also be done without the animal, but in this case, have the student give an explanation about the pet and bring in pictures to show their classmates).
- Visit a farm to study the domestic animals.
- Go to pet stores.
As specific objectives:
- Recognise the noticeable aspects about the animals: size, shape, colour, etc.
- Identification of the parts of the body of people: head, body and limbs and some of their unique features.
- Distinguishing the different types of skin protection: fur, scales or feathers.
Come to the Zoo
The activity Let’s Meet the Animals talks about the main characteristics of the five groups of vertebrates, adapted to the students’ ages.
- Short presentation in a classroom where slides are shown of representatives of the five groups of vertebrates. Furthermore, the images reveal aspects that cannot be directly observed at the Zoo.
- Observation and handling of different objects coming from animals in our collection.
- When leaving the classroom, the students are given a guided tour by a Zoo educator around the grounds in order to learn more about the following contents:
- Comparison of the body parts of people and animals.
- Identification of the different types of skin protection on animals: fur, scales and feathers.
- Observation aimed at the peculiar anatomical features of some animals (elephants, kangaroos, penguins, giraffes, flamingos).
- Recognise the basic different types of movement: flying, swimming, jumping, running, walking, etc.
- Introduction to the different feeding types: carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, frugivore, etc.
- Ability to notice the similarities and differences between related species (primates and man).
What we learned?
Suggestions for activities to do after finishing the Let’s Meet the Animals Workshop:
- Fill in the cards to do at school that are included in the workbook.
- Make collections with feathers, nests, furs, skins, etc.
- Make murals with the photos of animals you collect and group them according to the type of external layers, movement type, size, food, etc.
Oral and written expression:
- Memorise a short text about animals individually or in groups and present it to classmates.
- Look for stories, fables, poems, riddles, tongue twisters, etc. about animals and recite them, read them and comment on them to the rest of the class.
- Write and/or represent stories about the animals collected or invented by the students, which contain information learned in the activity.
- Make a book or album about animals that contains everything learned.
Logic and math:
- Classification and definition of groups of animals with cards, photographs, etc.
- Look for similarities and differences between animals.
- Make and paint animal masks, costumes, puppets or make models of animals using plasticine or clay.
- Construct a jigsaw puzzle using photos, cards, cut outs, etc.
Body expression activities:
- Play imitation games, where the children have to guess which animal their classmate is acting out.
- Match instruments to different animals and, when the sound of an instrument plays, move and imitate the animal in question.
Evaluation of learning obtained:
- Make an index card of a bird, a mammal and/or a reptile that details the parts of the body, the type of external layer and the place the animal lives.
Given that the materials are aimed at two different age groups and two years that are quite different cognitively and that students even change a lot between the beginning and end of the year, all information and study suggestions we offer are logically designed to use them as considered most suitable. The activities can all be done or streamlined as you like, adapting them to the students' age and knowledge.
CURRICULUM INTEGRATION OF THE LET’S MEET THE ANIMALS ACTIVITY AT THE ZOO
CROSS-CUTTING CURRICULUM AREAS
- Education in defence of the environment.
RELATIONSHIP TO THE CURRICULUM DISCIPLINES
- Knowledge of the natural environment.
With respect to knowledge, facts and ideas:
- To identify the parts of animals, protective layers of the skin, the foods they eat and how they move.
With respect to procedures:
- Learn to observe animals carefully.
With respect to attitudes and values:
- To foster respect for animals through being better informed.