Animal Life Cycles (FREE Learning Material)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

We are still continuing our vertebrate study and at this point we are exploring the life cycle of each group.  The aim of this study is to compare the life cycle of each group, to differentiate their development and identify their similarities as well.

Prior to this, I introduced the Animal Kingdom and the Vertebrate group.
To start off, we have The Life Cycle of a Frog for amphibians. Printable materials used here are my Animal Kingdom file, Vertebrate Sorting Cards and the Animal Life Cycles FREE printable.  The link to the file is at the end of this post.
I have the life cycle figures to represent the pictures. My son loooves them!
And I asked my son to name all the amphibians that he can remember.  I place the pictures on the left and their life cycle on the right.

Here, we concluded that:
Amphibians have jelly-like eggs.
They lay their eggs in the water.
They don't look like their parents when they are born.
They have silky slimy and sometimes toxic skin.
Next are the birds. Same process here, he has to name any bird and then we'll talk about The Life Cycle of a Chicken.
As you can see, our Baby Bear is participating as well :)
After the discussion of the life cycle, we concluded that:

Birds have hard shells.
They lay their eggs on nest or in soft area and keeps them warm.
They look like their parents when they are born.
Their skin is covered with feathers.

Reptiles are my son's favourite group because dinosaurs belong here.  We talked about The Life Cycle of a Snake and see how it differs with the other groups.
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Here we concluded that:
They have hard leathery like egg shells.
They lay their eggs on land.
They look like their parents when they are born (hatchlings).
They have scaly hard skin.
Then we have the fish and we talked about the Life Cycle of a Salmon to represent this group.
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My file includes the order of the cycle and also a brief description of each stage.
Here we concluded that:
Fish lay eggs in the water.
Salmons have food sac when they're still young.
They have gills and scaly skin.
And the last is the Life Cycle of a Dog for the mammals. My camera's battery ran out already so I wasn't able to take a picture.

Here we concluded that:
Mammals are born as their parent's young. Meaning they look exactly the same as their parents. Not in an egg form but a little version of their Mommies and Daddies.
Mothers feed their youngs with their milk.
Mammals have furry or hairy skin that protects them.

At the end of our session, I gave him all the picture cards of the life cycle and asked him to arrange them in order.  Sorry the picture is not really clear as this was taken via my phone.  Here you can see that the child can easily differentiate how the animal groups differ from each other via their life cycle. 
Materials used here are:
Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Frog
Safari Ltd Safariology the Life Cycle of a Chicken
Safari Ltd Reptiles TOOB

Animal Kingdom file and Vertebrate Sorting Cards
The Animal Life Cycles which you can download for free by clicking the image below.  Please note that the file doesn't include the definition cards for the insects as we are not touching this subject at the moment.  But I will definitely share the insect portion once we have our Insect Study in June.
The Animal Kingdom
Vertebrate Sorting Cards
Sorry if this is such a long post! I just have to explain and show how we used the file :)  Thank you so much for your time and I hope you find it useful in your school and at home.

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Introducing Vertebrate Animals to Kids

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mavi was very excited when I told him that we'll be sorting out animals according to their classification.  This was his long awaited activity and he was so happy that we get to finally do it (my cards were completed).
So after our talk about the Animal Kingdom and how the classification of the Vertebrate animals differ, I gave him our Vertebrate Sorting Cards to classify each of the animals in the card based on their group.  First, we read each definition card of each group to know more about the features of their members. Then he sorted his Safari TOOB Animals and Schleich Animals according to their groups.
This was an activity that he enjoyed the most.  Now my observation is that he gets confused at times between reptiles and amphibians. So what I did was to talk more about their differences.  We watched videos of frogs, snakes, iguanas and chameleons so he can understand why these confusing animals belong to amphibians or reptiles.

If you do not have your own animal figures the "Vertebrate Sorting Cards" learning pack includes real pictures of animals which you can use for your sorting activity.  To learn more about the learning pack you can check out this post, "The Animal Kingdom and Vertebrate Sorting Cards".
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We did this activity a couple of times as he really really likes sorting them.  In the pictures below we both used our animal figures and the animal cards of the learning material.
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Then he worked on this activity again only using his animal figures.
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This is one great activity for a child who develops a love for animals or who is in a stage where he is obsessed with animals even say dinosaurs like my Mavi. 

For the materials that were used in this activity we have:
Vertebrate Sorting Cards
Safari Toobs animals figures (reptiles, fish, birds, amphibians and mammals):

Schleich for the Dinosaur (Amazon US)  (Amazon UK

The next activity will be learning the life cycles of these animals according to their groups.

The Animal Kingdom and Vertebrate Sorting Cards

A few weeks ago, I created these learning materials to explore the Animal Kingdom with Mavi. He has been obsessed with animals again and dinosaurs as well! So I was thinking that its probably the best time to get him into this study.

Here are the materials that we have used in the following activities, "Exploring the Animal Kingdom for Kids" and "Introducing Vertebrate Animals to Kids".

  • 6 pictures of amphibians
  • 6 pictures of reptiles
  • 6 pictures of fish
  • 6 pictures of birds
  • 6 pictures of mammals
  • master control chart
  • definition for each animal classification
Vertebrate Sorting Cards
  • The Animal Kingdom MASTER Chart in A4 SIZE
  • Chart with pictures only (no labels) in A4 SIZE
  • Chart with labels only in A4 SIZE
  • Chart with no pictures and labels in A4 SIZE
  • 15 cards with pictures and labels  to form the chart
  • 15 cards with pictures and  no labels (for 3 part card use)
  • 15 label cards (for 3 part card use)
  • Matching definition cards
The Animal Kingdom

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FREE Bird Unit Pack for Preschoolers (Part Two)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

As promised, here's the second part of my Bird Unit Pack for your little ones!  Enjoy!




Oh and don't forget to download the first part as well :)



Thank you once again!

Springtime is Flower-time! (part deux)

Friday, April 25, 2014

To continue my previous post on flowers... here are the other activities we tried:

Flower Addition and Equation Matching.  In this activity, I printed out addition cards using flower heads.  The purpose of this activity is to match the addition cards with the proper equation in addition. 

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Flower Pattern Matching.  I made some tricky patterns and printed it twice for Mavi to match.  This can be also be played as a memory game.

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Math Addition.  Using the flowers we created in my previous post, we played a game of guess the total number of flowers using the flower equation cards that I made.  I showed him an equation and he had to "stick" the correct number of flowers in the playdough for the answer.


Parts of a Plant. We made a model of a plant using the flowers and popsicle sticks. I made him identify the parts. I took out our Parts of a Plant Nomenclature and Booklet material for him to read and check his work.  The plant version you see below is my work.

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You can the Plant Nomenclature and Booklet by clicking the image below.


And here is Mavi's version.  He wrote the labels on his own.


Free Bird Unit Pack for Preschoolers (First Part)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Because my Facebook page has reached a thousand likers.... I am giving this super cute Bird Unit Pack for all my readers! But wait! There's more!  This is only the first part... the second part of the file will be published and again will be given away for free in the next few days so keep coming back for updates.

So to all my readers thank you!  Your comments and personal messages meant so much to me.  It inspires me as much as my blog inspires you!  Cheers to everyone!

If you are ready to receive the pack... just click on the image below. Enjoy and I hope you'll like it!


Springtime is Flower-time!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hi everyone!  There are lots of daffodils growing in the yard and Mavi has been constantly picking them up for his "collection".  So to make use of the flowers I pulled out our flower nomenclature cards and told him that he will need to dissect the daffodils to learn about its part.


Since we did this activity a few years ago, he was so excited to do it again.  Kids love to do this!  I know how dreadful it is to learn about the parts of a flower (with all those weird names).  But if you get to this activity with your kids, with a tactile activity, they will definitely learn faster and the retention is much better.

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As we dissect the daffodil, I would ask him questions like "how does the petals feel like?", "why do you think that some flowers are yellow some are red?".  As we go along, I also discuss the functions of each parts.  He mentioned that his favorite parts are the petals and the stamens because according to him, these makes the flower look beautiful.

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If you are interested, you can this Parts of the Flower and Definition booklet by clicking the image below:


Afterwhich we read our book How Flowers Grow and look at the pictures of the different kinds of flowers around the world.


I was also inspired to make flowers in popsicle sticks.  I love how these flowers turned out!   You can place them in a vase and stick them using a playdough or clay :)

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In our case, we found a purpose for these flowers in our math activity which I will talk about in my next post, so stay tuned!


For more FREEbies and learning aids, please check The Pinay Homeschooler Shop and Downloads.

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Montessori Monday
TGIF Linky Party
Teach Beside Me
Preschool Corner
Teaching Mama
I Can Teach My Child
Home + School = Afterschool!
Natural Homeschool's Montessori Linky

Exploring the Animal Kingdom for Kids

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hello everyone! Mavi is still on a school break this week so we'll be busy doing lots of "home" school activities.  Thank goodness the weather is getting warmer, Mavi gets to play in the yard, digging dirt and "fossils" LOL.

Speaking of which, he's currently obsessed with dinosaurs and with animals in general.  So while he's at it, I took the chance of introducing him to the Animal Kingdom.  I released this file last week so if you want to check it out, just click the image below for the link.
The Animal Kingdom Learning Material
To start with, here's my presentation of the chart.  In my printable file, there are 8 invertebrate animals and I used common animals so kids learning them can easily identify the specific group.  The presentation of the chart to Mavi went smoothly.  He was really surprised that there are animals that doesn't have a backbone. 
The Animal Kingdom Learning Material
As we went along with the presentation, I made him the definition or fact cards that goes along with each of the animal. I made sure that the information I wrote in those cards were interesting enough for a 5 year old :)  We will further discuss Mollusks and Arthropods in the next few weeks for an additional knowledge of their subclass (group types).
He learned that some animals can be both a boy and a girl!  And look, we added some animal figures as well and that includes jelly worms!
When we reached the Chordates (Vertebrates) he got really excited as this was the part that he's familiar with.
He was so excited because he wanted to put his animal figures under each subclass of the Vertebrate animals LOL.
And yes... that includes the dinosaurs!
So classifying animals on what subclass (amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds and fish) they belong to is another activity that we delve into. And that would be on my next post... so stay tuned!

PS.  I was a little bit hesitant to introduce this subject to Mavi.  But I was surprised that he was attentive all throughout our lesson.  He even patiently read all the description cards for me.  I am happy that he was able to grasp the concept immediately, that not all animals are the same, that they are grouped so we can easily identify their features and understand their characteristics and uniqueness. 
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