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Come Meet Us at the Zoo

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Keywords: Book making, Paper Mache, KWL Charts, Music and Dance,
Subject(s): Life Science
Grade P-K
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Stepping Stones Preschool, Tell City, IN
Planned By: Martha Thomas
Original Author: Martha Thomas, Tell City
Unit Summary:
Throughout this unit, children will learn about the animal of their choice through hands-on activities, research, literacy, and a field trip. Children will take this knowledge to make a book about the animal of their choice and present their final projects to their families. Through this unit children will create, research, and learn basic technology operations and concepts. Children will be supported through staff and family interaction.

Standards:Foundations to the Indiana Academic Standards for Young Children

*ELA:3:21-Use drawings or pictures to represent objects
*ELA:3:32-Name objects from a picture book
*ELA:3:38-Read own writing
*ELA:3:41-Watch or listen to a story to completion or for more than 10 minutes
*ELA:3:56-Recognize print in media other than a book
*ELA:4:45-Engage in turn-taking vocalizations
*ELA:4:49-Follow simple directions with prompts
*ELA:4:66-Name sounds heard in the environment
*ELA:4:74-Act out familiar, scripted events and routines

Social Emotional:
*SE:3:47-Apply previous learned information to new situations
*SE:3:61-Particpate in games and follow the rules
*SE:3:104-Move to the music on their own and with others
*SE:3:210-Develop growing ability to plan, work independently, and demonstrate care and persistence in a variety of art projects

Physical Skills
*P.3.12 Perform locomotor and non-locomotor skills at a basic level (e.g., marching, walking, running, hopping, kicking, crawling, jumping forward with feet together, sliding, stretching, climbing, and walking in a line one behind the other).

*SC.1.7 Use charts, drawings, and/or graphs to share their findings with others.
*SC.1.8 Use their findings to create self published books and/or materials.
*SC.1.9 Communicate discoveries.
*SC.1.15 Ask and answer simple questions.
*SC.1.18 Use words to describe physical attributes of objects (e.g., size, color).
*SC.1.26 Identify plants and animals as living things.
*SC.1.56 Compare characteristics of living things (e.g., Donkeys have shorter legs and longer ears than horses; a tulip looks like just a cup, but a daffodil looks like a cup and saucer).

Learning objectives:
*The student will:
*learn about animal habitats
*learn what animals have fur, hair, skin, scales, feathers, etc
*learn which animals walk, run, trot, slither, swim, gallop, etc
*learn if animals eat plants, meat, or insects
*learn which animals are tame and which are wild
*learn the different things people use animals for
*learn the sounds animals make

*Where do animals live?
*What kind of coverings do animals have?
*How do animals move?
*What do animals eat?
*What is
the difference between wild and tame animals?
*What do people use animals for?
*What sounds do animals make?

Assessment Summary:
A KWL chart will be use throughout the unit ask children discuss and learn about animals. The chart will first be used in the beginning to note what the children know about animals and what they want to learn about them. Throughout the unit, additions will be made as the children learn and discover new things they would like to learn. Teacher and staff observations will be used throughout the unit to record what the children are interested in and how to adjust the unit to tailor to their interests. At the end of the unit students will create books and read to a group of adults and share their work to display their successes.

Project Work:

*KWL Chart

Prompt: Today we will begin a project on animals. To begin we will visit the zoo and observe animals in their habitats. If you have questions on our trip, please ask an adult or other child in our group.
When we return, we will learning about the animal of your choice and create artwork and writings to share with others.

Unit Details:
Time Needed:
Approximate time needed 10-12 days, 20 minutes per day (many concepts have be integrated into content areas throughout the year.

The student must be able to:
*Identify animals
*Describe animals
*Identify same and different

Before the unti begins teacher will gather resources and plan field trip to the zoo. Students will be provided with books, magazines and other resources related to animals.

Introducing the unit:
*I will read the book, "1,2,3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle. The book is whimsically illustrated and appeals to early childhood learners. This wordless book gives many things to discuss including 10 animals, numbers, a train and a mouse. Students will discuss animals in the book and begin a KWL chart indicating animal they know about and what they want to learn about. Each day the KWL chart will be revisited. A graph will be made to display pick their favorite animal and see which animal is like by the most students. Each day children will write and/or draw in their journals to record what was learned. At the end of the unit, children will take their journals to the mobile computer lab and begin writing and illustrating their books. Throughout the unit, parents/gaurdians will be encouraged to research and discuss animals with their child at home. The climax of the unit will be a family night where children share their success.

Exploring the Unit:

Day 1: Children will visit the local zoo. While at the zoo, they will talk with adults and other children about the animals at the zoo, including what they look like, their habitat, what they eat, and what sounds they make.
Day 2: Read Zoo by Gail Gibbons. Children will explore the animals they saw at the zoo and pick their favorite. To help them with this they will be provided Ranger Rick or National Geographic Kids magazines. They will be encouraged to cut out images of their animal and make an animal collage.
Day 3: Read Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. Once children have decided on their animal and have their animal collage, books about the animal they chose will be provided for them to explore. They will also be encouraged to research online with adult assistance (they may print information needed). Children will be encourages to keep a file/box of resources that they believe are essential to their project. Information will be sent home to parents about the project and which animal their child has chosen to research. Parent/Guardian support is essential to a successful project as they will be asked to help their child at home on some aspects of the project.
Day 4: Read Never Ever Shout in a Zoo by Karma Wilson. Children will begin a paper mache zoo project. They will make habitats for their animals with paper mache and use toys such as stuffed animals, plastic animals, blocks, etc. to decorate their habitat appropriately.
Day 5: Read Zoo Looking by Mem Fox. Children will continue working on their habitats.
Day 6: Read Going to the Zoo by Tom Paxton. Children will explore the covering of animals. Each animal the children have picked will be represented with pictures and objects that represent the covering of the animals chosen. Children will have to look at the images or objects and decide which one belongs to their animals.
Day 7: Children will play a movement game. First children will watch a video called Animal Action about how animals move and move with the music on the video. After the video is over, children may request to repeat it or they may want to listen to music and make up their own animal actions.
Day 8: Where do animals go game: In this game children will learn about wild and tame animals. A display will be on the wall and there will be categories for pets, farm and wild. Children will place the animals in the category that best suits the animal.
Day 9: Children will learn about what animals eat. Play dough mats will be printed online from Pre-KPages.com. Each page will have a different animal and they will need to feed the animal. There will be discussion about what each animal represented eats. If a child has an animal that is not represented, group discussion will take place to learn what the animal eats.
Day 10-12: Children begin writing their books, based on the knowledge they learned through research and exploration. Children may also work on their paper mache project if needed. On the evening of the last day, children will present their project work to their family accompanied by the zoo-phonics song, "Come Meet Us at the Zoo."

Accommodations for Differentiated Instruction

*Students will be working in small groups, each with peer models and adult support
*Students can dictate to adults
*Time will be extended if needed. Also children may work at home if needed.
*Gifted students will be provided with more resources for further exploration and be given word cards to help them read and write more independently

Print Materials:
*KWL chart
*Word Cards
*Emergent Reader Books

*Plastic and stuffed animals
*Fabric for textures
*Music CDs
*Shredded Paper
*Support objects for paper mache
*Computers with internet connection
*PA system for presentation
*Camera to document while at the zoo
*Technology:Kidworks Software
*Zoo Literacy Packet
*Technology:Hardware, Keyboard, Mice, USB drive, Headsets
*Printer, Paper, & Ink

*Zoo by Gail Gibbons
*Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
*Never Ever Shout in the Zoo by Karma Wilson
*Zoo by Mem Fox
*Going to the Zoo by Tom Paxton
If software isn't available, children can use own illustrations and dictations by adults to present their books.

If music CDs aren't available, music can be downloaded via itunes for music activities.

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Art, Science, Language, Music
At the end of the unit, students will host an evening for friends and family to share in what they have learned. Children will perform "Come Meet Us at the Zoo," a Zoo Phonics songs. Children will also have their books on display for everyone to observe and some children may even read their books for the group. Also, on display will be their paper mache zoo.
Links: PreK Pages
Link to Zoo Phonics
Link to Kid Works Deluxe
Materials: Point and Shoot, Mobile Labs, Whiteboards, PA Systems, CDs and DVDs, Hard Drives, Printers, Flash/USB Drives, LCD Monitors, Keyboards, Headsets, Mice, Writing, Early Learning
Other Items: Internet Service, $50 each
1 Lab Pack Kid works Deluxe (computer generated book software) 5pk, $200 each, total of $200.00
30 Zoo Admission, $300 each, total of $9000.00
1 Zoo Phonic Preschool Curriculum w/digtal curriculum whiteboard, $380 each, total of $380.00
1 Zoo Literacy Packet from Pre-K Pages. com, $4 each, total of $4.00