With the holiday season fast approaching, I thought it should be time for us to finish up with our study of animals so that we could concentrate on Christmas. We've been looking at a variety of different animals, as well as the classification system, and we've really enjoyed it. But I didn't have the slightest idea how to end the unit!
After spending some time on Pinterest (one of my favorite sites!), I found an idea from ilove2teach. Instead of looking at animals that already exist, the crazy little kids could come up with their own make believe animals. There was some writing involved, so I was a bit worried. CLG is a bit young to write, and CLB is just not a happy writer. I was pleasantly surprised when they both greeted the project with enthusiasm!
I decided to make a sheet that each kiddo would fill out to help them decide what their animals would look like. I didn't make it too complicated, just made sure they would have something to refer to to help them remember all the things we learned about animals:
From this, both crazy kids were able to think up interesting ideas for new creatures. And to draw them, too!
CLG came up with an "amnite fish". This little guy apparently enjoys living in the "middle" and "bottom" layers of the ocean. It was fun taking time to figure out what the technical name of those ocean layers are called, and it's still amusing listening to her try to say abyssal! This fish apparently does wander up to the top layer of the ocean to eat jellyfish, but usually stays below. The unique bit about this fish is that it's fin can change to wings! When it's threatened while having it's dinner, it will switch up its fin, fly out of the water, and hang out on the beach for a few hours (she wanted the fish to head over to the subway, but I talked her out of that one).
|See the little fish in the wave?|
|Doesn't it look so happy on the beach?|
CLB came up with a new amphibian called a "fran". This little guy lives in bogs, under the ground. Since it lives in a bog under the ground, and it's an amphibian, it has to leave its home periodically so it can breath. The fran likes to eat and has antenna that can help it sense worms, ants, and flies up to one mile away. It can also change color, to stay away from predators, but if it is spotted by a predator, it will use its upside down claws to quickly dig a hole for it to hide away in.
|Close up of the antenna|
|A fran can change from grayish green...|
We had a lot of fun with this project. And, no, these creatures might not be scientifically possible! But the kids spent time thinking about how their animals fit in the classification system, where they live, how they protect themselves, and where they fit in the food web of their habitats. It was a wonderful way to end a fun unit!