Wild and domesticated animals are favored topics of study for young children. The parallels of family structure, eating habits and habitat between animals and humans evoke a multitude of interests. Familiar animals such as dogs and cats are studied first. Their eating habits are covered in the unit entitled, “Pet Show.” Less familiar animals, such as tigers, bears and other wild creatures are discussed in the unit, “Animals, Animals.” Animals that provide food for humans are also studied with the aid of the unit entitled “On the Farm.” Yet attempting to cover the many aspects of animal life in a kindergarten classroom thoroughly is impossible without the aid of models, photographs, videos, computers and live specimens. Through the research and planning of my unit, “Lions and Tigers and Bears. . .Oh, My! Animals of the Connecticut World,” I am able to provide the classroom materials and experiences necessary to enhance present classroom curriculum.
Beginning in late January and continuing through March, the themes mentioned above introduce my students to the gamut of wild and domesticated creatures. These themes highlight specific groups of animals according to their habitat: housepet, wild animals and farm animals. Family life and eating habits are taught within each specific animal unit. As the three animal units are complete, an overlap is found when discussing animal subgroups such as reptiles, birds, mammals and the like. The children, through this simultaneous overlap and theme separation, can better understand the many types of creatures living in the world and can better determine which animals should live among humans and which should not. My unit, “Lions and Tigers and Bears. . .Oh, My!” utilizes the required curriculum and enhances its specific elements to enable my students to better understand the creatures they are studying.
(Recommended for Language Arts and Science, grades K-1)