Animals, A to Z
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
"Lions and tigers and bears" oh yes! Animals are a great topic any time of the year. Most of my students have some interest in animals, and I can readily adapt this topic to the group's abilities, needs, and interests. It's also quite useful for getting to know my students more, assessing their learning strengths and weaknesses and planning for the next steps. In fact, I find myself returning to the theme of animals repeatedly throughout the year: I love it, and my students do, too! Also, during a unit on animals, I have found that I can incorporate a lot of listening, speaking, observation, comparison, and description critical skills in language, science, and math.
There are lots of Internet resources that will help make animals more accessible to and multiply the fun for young students, from zoos online to Web sites focusing on specific breeds of dogs or other pets. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Would you like to find excellent animal photos for your students? Explore Animal Photos at the National Zoo. Another rich site for kids to see large images of animals and even hear their sounds is the Sedgwick County Zoo of Kansas.
Check out Desert Animals, where your students can learn about creatures of the desert, from bats and barn owls to western coral snakes. This site has a higher reading level than some of the others.