Monday, January 31, 2011

Animal Classification at the Zoo

The kids love it when we "do school" out and about. They love being outside, exploring and learning in a hands-on way. Especially Lincoln who is obsessed with learning about animals and nature. He loves to know why things do what they do, why some animals are more dangerous than others, why some animals don't live near us and others do, etc. He's so inquisitive! I love it. The best part...drum roll, please...he LOVES reading books about them!!! I caught him sitting completely still, snuggled in his bed yesterday reading a pile of animal books for what seemed like forever. Sweet boy.

We decided to take a trip to the zoo a few weeks ago to explore the animals and since Avonlea was learning about animal classification, we put her to work. I guess my kids will just have to get used to the fact that every family outing is a field trip, they will learn as they're out with us, they will have homework on these field trips, they'll always get an educational toy at Christmas and learning is FUN. It's what you get when your mom is a certified teacher and a homeschooler. ;)

Anyway, the kids had a blast. As we walked throughout the zoo, each child (no, I didn't make Norah do work...ha!) was on a scavenger hunt which included a paper that they worked on as we went. Avonlea had a sheet that helped her classify animals and Lincoln had a sheet that I made that morning (took 5 mins.). His sheet asked him to find certain animals along the way and he had to tell me the letter that the animal started with. He simply circled the animal as we went. He got almost all of them by the time we left and Avonlea was very successful as well.

Observing the white tigers.

Lincoln's "homework"

Avonlea doing her homework. Her purple folder is one that she created on her own (with my leading) of the 5 classifications of animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish). We've made a project out of it that took a few weeks. Her classification scavenger hunt was found HERE.

Step 1: decorate the front with fun animal pictures.

Step 2: divide the folder into 5 sections, 1 for each animal group

Step 3: cut out pictures of examples from each animal group

Step 4: write facts about each animal group that tell it apart from the others

{example: which animals are warm/cold-blooded, which ones give live birth/hatch from eggs, which ones have fur/scales, etc.}

Step 5: visit a zoo or wildlife area where animals can be observed and learn where these different animals live throughout our world. (What we did on this day.)

visiting along the way

Who doesn't love petting goats...

and wearing red, ruby slippers while doing it?!

Takin' a break.

"Me too, me too!" ~Avonlea

It cost $2.00 to feed the giraffe one cracker. I have 3 kids. You do the math. We just went up to say "hello". ;)

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