Friday, April 27, 2012

Science at the Zoo...classification

Today was another zoo day. We love to use the zoo as a resource for learning and this year it actually fits nicely with the Science that we are already studying.   On this trip, I decided to have the kids classify animals.

I found this great site for classifying animals with kids.  It gives a simple explanation of each group in kid friendly language.  We read and discussed these groups and then played this online game to test our knowledge before the trip to the zoo.

I created a page with the five categories for them to classify the animals.  There was a column for mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish.  Here is what it looked like.  This time I created each child their own page!  Haha.  I also decided to have the kids start keeping these pages in their MFW folders as part of their learning portfolio.  So, it makes more sense to have one for each child.

As we walked through the zoo, the kids would write down the names of animals under the correct category.  (I view this as a creative writing exercise so I don't worry about spelling...especially since I want to have  light, fun, creative learning experiences...and none of us love spelling...haha!)

Wesley really wanted to participate so I had him draw pictures of the animals under each category.  How cute is that! This one is going in his art file to keep.

We always practice some map skills while at the zoo.  This is one of their favorite parts.

Wesley was really serious about his "school" and wanted to take the time to draw his pictures well.

On the way out, the boys found a turtle that they enjoyed touching and were amazed watching it swim around.

 Just had to include this sweet little face.

Then at the end of the trip, when the desert heat had warmed us up, we stopped by a "splash pad" for the kids to cool off.

The boys found more turtles to watch in this area too.  They were all so amazed by these turtles.  Maybe it's time to invest in a tank and turtles...maybe...haha.

After we were back home, we tried this online game again to review what we had learned.  It was fun to see how scores improved after the day at the zoo.  So we had a great time laughing, researching, and learning together about classification of animals "hands-on" (which they are more likely to retain long-term), and never opened a book.

We will open books next week:)


  1. Wow what a wonderful teacher you are! We have not done very many hands on things this year. I feel pretty bad about it, I will have to make it up to them next year. Thanks for the great inspiration!

    1. Oh thanks Tesha! I do believe that there are seasons to the homeschool experience and when major events happen we don't do so many hands-on activities. I try to do tons of hands on learning when I am not pregnant or with a new baby because those times a so much harder. I know you are an amazing mom and teacher:)

  2. What a great way to study classification and have fun at the same time!