Animal Classification Theme
Every week, we study a new letter and a standing activity that we include is animal classification.
You could really adapt this to whatever theme you are focusing on: jungle animals, desert animals, domesticated animals. We come up with 6 animals that begin with our letter of the week.
I laminated a file folder with six animal groups (you can get as specific as you want: for example, I do not have an "arachnid" section, because technically arachnids do not fall into any of the categories I have listed for my kids): Mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, fish, reptiles. I also provided an example for each category (i.e. a dog for the mammal group, a ladybug for the insects, etc.).
Next to each category, I have listed some qualifiers for each type of animal to help the children learn the things that make an animal a reptile or a bird, etc. Again, you can get more specific here too!
It is really fun each week, for me, to look up animals that begin with our letter of the week. For instance, I'd never heard of a firemouth fish or that there is no amphibian that starts with 'i'.
It's also very interesting to see just how many images you can find online for obscure animals like a Dumpy treefrog or a Junaluska salamander! And of course, when its a really interesting animal, we might study it a little further on a different day (i.e. a dolphin: why is it a mammal and not a fish?).
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