Why do zebras have stripes? Just how big is an elephant? How fast can a giraffe run? In this video, young children learn more ...
Activity: Wild Animals
binoculars, safari, zoo, names of various wild animals (lions, tigers, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, etc.)
For this activity, you will need:
1. Tape pictures of wild animals on the walls around your center or school building (classrooms, hallways, lunch and recreation areas, etc.).
2. Display the second set of wild animal pictures on the bulletin board or classroom wall with the label “Wild Animals.”
3. Read the book about wild animals to the children, and have them watch the “Zoo Safari” video.
4. Ask the children to identify the animals on the classroom wall or bulletin board.
5. Ask the children, “Does anyone know what happens on a safari?” After the children respond, explain that a safari is a trip to see wild animals.
6. Explain that the class will be going on a safari.
7. Distribute the binoculars, and show the children how to place the tubes to their eyes to better see the animals.
8. Begin the safari by walking around the building, letting the children point out the wild animals. Stop at each animal; ask the children to name the animal and tell what they know about the animal.
9. Back in the classroom, record on a chart the animals the class found on the safari.
10. Distribute journals to the children and ask them to “document” their adventure by drawing what they did on the safari and the animals they saw.
Wild animals and how they live fascinate children, and a zoo is a wonderful place to learn about animals from all over the world. This video takes children on a visit to a zoo to learn about different animals. They are encouraged to “look close” and “listen to sounds” to identify the animal before seeing and hearing the name.
We start by making a pretend pair of binoculars for the trip. These binoculars can be used in other activities such as nature walks and looking for details around the classroom. You can use the binoculars while viewing the video as well. Through observation, the children will determine characteristics unique to these animals. By charting these observations, children are introduced to elementary scientific methods and develop basic literacy skills.
In learning about the different animals and where they live, children begin to learn about different countries and how the climate and geography are different and affect life in other parts of the world.
Exploring these differences, and learning to observe details in the world around them at an early age, will help children as they build the skills they will need for 21st century learning.