What's Going on Here...

Friday, April 22, 2011

We're Going to the ZOO, ZOO, ZOO...

If you are like me, I am ALWAYS trying to think of ways to introduce lessons in a fun, exciting way, while transitioning from one unit to another in a meaningful, connected way! Talk about a headache! I should own stock in the Bayer Aspirin company! So, if you are looking for a transition from Farm/Insects to Zoo here is my idea of a fun "hook" activity...
After reviewing our previous week's learning, we make predictions about the book, Chickens Aren't the Only Ones. We've classified our animals into "clubs" throughout our previous units (Insect Club, Mammal Club, Bird Club, etc.) These are exclusive clubs, and you MUST meet the criteria to become a member. Then, I tell my kiddos that a new "club" of animals are hiding inside the  eggs in my basket. I then pass out big, plastic eggs to each child and ask for guesses as to what the new club could be. We all open our eggs together to find our next study - REPTILES!

We list the animals found in the eggs on a chart named, Reptiles.
Afterwards, each child draws the animal found 

inside their egg, and "puts" it into an egg that opens and closes.

Each day after the introduction we complete a page in our Reptiles book.
Here is the book my husband and I wrote during an evening out a few years ago! Now, you know how much school is part of my life. We sat at our favorite pizza place writing a reptile book ON NAPKINS, covering a "fact" about each type of reptile - but it also had to RHYME! My husband is such a good sport. He deserves an award for putting up with my maddness!
 This is the finished product....

We illustrate a page a day as we read and learn about each reptile. 
Alligators and Crocs are last to transition us into our Zoo Fact Book unit.
We begin each animal study with fun music to provide the "hook", then off we go to a great book!  

We complete a thinking map for each animal.
Here is our map about Alligators!
Please come back as we complete the Zoo Fact Book next week!
Here is the first page!


  1. This is AWESOME. Thanks for sharing! I love the egg idea, and the special eyelids! AHH--I wish I had seen this last week when I was teaching reptiles!

  2. Thanks for sharing! Great ideas!


  3. I love your alligator chart! OK, my friends, Michle and Susan are doing a dinosaur/opivarous unit and did the same activity with the eggs! I really like your eggs for the kids to match up-such a good way to take it a step further. The rhyming reptile book is too cute-you do have a keeper in Ryan!

    I love it all! I think I am going to have to break down and teach this unit next year!


  4. I've always wanted to add the Dinosaur unit to the end of the Reptile week, but have never had time. I saw where Diana Jump used a paper mache' egg somehow to introduce a big unit on Dinosaurs. I need to just DO IT and forget about time! Of course I'll have lots of time this school year since we will, evidently, be in school until August!