Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Uno, Dos, Tres...Three Days of Classifying Animals

Day 1
Prompted by one our science methods course we took last year as part of our Master's program, Katie and I start our animal and habitat unit with an interesting exercise. We give each student pictures of a variety of animals (including a human) and plants. The students are instructed to independently sort and glue the pictures into animal and not animal categories. I think it makes my kiddos crazy when they ask if they are correct and I tell them, "you decide, it is up to you...we will talk about it together in a bit." I enjoy listening to their reasoning as they do their sorting. One of my favorite quotes this year was, "the girl is a mammal and mammal and animal rhyme, so that has to be it." Haha!!

We then have a student driven discussion where we sort large versions of the pictures into animal and not animal categories. Through guided questions, we help the students arrive at the proper conclusions. We LOVE this exploration activity!! If you have ever wanted to get inside the brain of a firstie, this activity is for you!

After the sort we use a webbing activity to create a definition to articulate what an animal is.

Day 2
I started this second day with another "get inside the head of a firstie activity". I laid out all my animals in the middle of our circle. (They came from one of those bulletin board punch out kits that I purchased at Lakeshore a few years ago. I think it was a habitats pack.) I asked how could we sort or organize the animals into groups. Of course my first graders had lots of ideas.
After they shared some ideas, I told them that scientists wondered this very thing and that they have sorted animals into categories based on some traits. We discussed the meaning of the word classify. I introduced the categories of vertebrates and invertebrates and the sub categories of birds, arthropods, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish.

Day 3
I shared a PowerPoint with the kiddos that explained the traits of the animals in each category.

We then sat in a circle and sorted our animals again, this time according to the scientific categories.

I made this page for independent practice. Thanks DJ Inkers for the clip art! (Note the picture in the middle is a salamander, not a lizard..I needed another amphibian.)

This is one of my favorite units to teach because the firsties just eat it up!! I also love it because it is a great way we can heavily use informational texts!!



  1. Looks very fun and so student-centered. Great lessons!

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I am now your newest follower! You have many wonderful and engaging activities. I am checking them out now! :)

  3. I love hearing the "knowledge" they have about animals!

    Very interesting! =)

    I know your kiddos loved this!

    Thank you for sharing. =)

    Heather's Heart

  4. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
    Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!
    Here is my webpage

  5. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be
    really something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!

    Feel free to visit my site; hotmail support

  6. It's fantastic that you are getting thoughts from this article as well as from our dialogue made at this place.

    Check out my web blog :: Landing Page Design

  7. Admiring the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you offer.
    It's nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same
    outdated rehashed material. Fantastic read!
    I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Feel free to surf to my site

  8. I think that is one of the so much important information for me.
    And i am glad studying your article. But wanna statement
    on few common things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is truly great
    : D. Excellent process, cheers

    Also visit my page :: vacation reply

  9. I believe what you published was actually very logical.
    However, consider this, what if you typed a catchier title?
    I am not saying your information is not solid, however suppose you added
    something to maybe get people's attention? I mean "Uno, Dos, Tres...Three Days of Classifying Animals" is a little boring. You could look at Yahoo's front page and
    see how they write article titles to grab people
    to click. You might add a video or a related picture or two
    to grab readers interested about what you've got to say. In my opinion, it might make your posts a little livelier.

    Review my web site ... Windows Live hotmail

  10. Superb blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I'd really love to be a part of online community where I can get advice from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!

    Check out my web page :: Cheap Jerseys **

  11. Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and
    in depth information you offer. It's awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same old rehashed material.
    Excellent read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

    my web page: sell beats fast

  12. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on.
    You have done a wonderful job!

    My homepage: Chaussure De Foot

  13. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really recognize
    what you're talking about! Bookmarked. Please also discuss with my web site =). We can have a link trade agreement between us

    my web blog - Click Here ()

  14. Hey there! I realize this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does building a well-established blog like yours require a large amount of work?
    I am completely new to operating a blog however I do write in my journal everyday.
    I'd like to start a blog so I will be able to share my personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

    Here is my site: Air Jordan

  15. Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to present something again and aid others such as you helped me.

    Here is my webpage - Nike Air Max

  16. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website,
    how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.

    I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

    Here is my web page Air Max