Volume 6, Issue 19
November 24, 2008
Theme: Animal Homes
A WORD ABOUT THIS ISSUE'S THEME
Introduce our poem-riddle to children and encourage them to guess each animal.
Do you live in a house just like me?
No, I scamper from tree to tree.
Who am I?
A s _ _ _ _ _ _ l.
Does your home have windows just like mine?
No, I live in a hive that's fine.
Who I am?
A b __ __.
Does your home have doors that open wide?
No, a den is where I sleep and hide.
Who I am?
A b _ _ r.
Does your home have love and family?
Oh yes, we all need that you see! [Children repeat in unison]
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter
A HOUSE IS A HOUSE…
Read to children A House Is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman. Discuss different habitats pictured in the book. After the class discussion, invite students to go on a treasure hunt called Hunting for Animals' Homes, created by Christina Micek. Follow up by talking about "The Big Question," which appears at the bottom of the treasure hunt page.
WHAT KIND OF HOME?
Provide lots of picture books showing animals and animal homes. Discuss with children what kinds of homes various animals use. During your discussion be sure to use the correct names of such homes such as den, burrow, nest, and so on. List those names for children to view. Then give each child a pre-cut construction-paper animal shape (use various animals) to glue onto a sheet of drawing paper. Let children "flesh out" their pictures using crayons or paints to show their animals' specific home /habitat. Children can copy the name of the home onto the bottoms of their papers.
ALIKE AND DIFFERENT
Help students draw the inside of a house, showing places to eat, sleep, and play. Invite students to share their pictures with one another as you explain that these are the places people need in their homes. Then explain that animals need certain things in their homes: water, food, enough space, and a place to raise their young. Review pictures of various animal homes. Ask students to tell how animal homes are alike and different from people homes. Create a chart or a Venn diagram to record students' thoughts.
WHAT A HIVE!
Talk about bees that use hives as homes. Then try this fun activity. Give each child a small plastic cup (bathroom cup). Instruct children to turn cups upside down on a table. Help children paint the sides of their cups with glue. (They can steady their cups by putting a finger firmly on the top of the cup as they paint.) Next, help children start at the bottom of the cup and wrap thick yellow yarn around and around up the sides of the cup. Paint glue on the top of the cup and cover it with pieces of more yellow yarn. Let children glue a half circle of black paper onto the bottom edge of the "hive" for a door. Finally children may want to glue a plastic or fabric bee to the side of the hive.
Provide pictures of various habitats. Include several different views of each habitat. Place the pictures where children can easily see them. Divide the class into two teams. Call out the name of a habitat/environment. A member from one team must come forward and select a picture. If the picture choice is correct, call out another habitat name and give the other team a turn. If the picture choice is incorrect, the other team has a chance to find the correct one. Give one point to each correct choice.
A NEST FOR ME!
Create this fun snack for children to enjoy. For each child shred 1/2 carrot and mix with 1/4 cup chow-mein noodles. Add enough mayonnaise to moisten mixture. Place mixture on a plate and push the middle down with the back of a spoon to create a "nest." Children can place grapes in the nest for "eggs" and enjoy a special treat.
ON THE WEB
Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.
Find the Animals
If your children are ready to try a simple graph activity, this one is great.
A nice resource for information on various kinds of animal homes.
Humans and Animal Habitats
Help your students with these online games. Choose a habitat then answer each question.
A matching and coloring page -- all about animal homes.
Print out these cards, then laminate and cut apart. Your children will enjoy using them to "make a match."