1-2-3 Come Do Some Zoo Craftivities With Me
I’ve taught PK, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th, 10th, 12th & college; going on a variety of field trips or “outings” with all of them. Plus, as a mom and grandmother, I’ve done my share of chaperoning too.
Why’s that important? I’ve “been there & done that” many times! You might say I’ve earned a “black belt” in the karate of field tripping.
I’ve used that experience to design this comprehensive zoo packet. Basically, it has everything you need to plan a field trip to the zoo, so that things run smoothly, and you too can enjoy the excitement & fun.
It’s my hope that the packet is also a huge time saver & “stress buster” for you.
I’ve done an elephant's ton of work, so that you can simply “print & go” and know that "I’ve got you covered”; with a nice assortment of things to do before and during the trip, as well as a huge variety of activities for after; with plenty for several days following.
I've divided the packet into these 3 major parts.
There's a "preparation section" which includes initial notes home to parents, with follow-up reminders; as well as chaperone information, permission slips, checklists, and a variety of forms.
There's also a section of helpful tips, several "To Do" lists; and a "We've Gone to the Zoo" doorknob hanger.
This "preparation section" also includes posters; "we're Going to the Zoo Tomorrow" Slap Bracelets, to use as a fun reminder to parents; plus a KWL black & white worksheet for your students, as well as a colorful one you can do as a whole group.
There are various debates over the safety of having a child's name out there for all the world to see.
However, we discuss "stranger danger" as part of our field trip behavior. I've included discussion questions, a poster & contract for students to sign.
I think the many advantages of having a name tag, particularly for chaperones, far out weighs "that might not happen" disadvantage.
I laminate the tags, then write children's names on with a black marker; then use a Mr. Clean sponge to rub the names off later. Takes a bit of elbow grease, but so worth it, so I can use them again.
You can pin the "badge" on, or you can make them into a necklace. I cut up colorful plastic straws and strung those on a length of cord, alternating them with pony beads.
Another pattern in the "before" part of the packet, is a "How Many Days?" craftivity. I've included 4 real photographs of zoo animals for you to choose from. Pick two, and glue them back-to-back, then laminate.
I punch a hole in the top and dangle a paper chain from the bottom. There are X number of links, which equal how many days there are before our field trip. This is how I tell my students the exciting news.
Ripping off a paper link, becomes part of our daily routine, which really stops all the inevitable questions of "How many days before we get to go to the zoo?"
Besides using the chain as a countdown, I review all sorts of math standards with my students. The paper chain is made up of 2 colors in an ABAB pattern, so we practice that, as well as: counting how many links are left, then subtracting one by ripping it off the chain, ("Now how many are left?") "Is this greater or less than the other number?" etc.
Chaperones is another helpful preparation section. Each of my chaperones gets a clipboard to carry.
Since it's nice to be prepared for the "oops" that may happen; I also give them an "Emergency Baggie", which has a small pack of Kleenex, several Band-Aids, plus a little bottle of hand sanitizer. This inexpensive gift has often come in handy & is truly appreciated.
There are several options, plus a thank you note for the bus driver too.
One of the most helpful forms for me, is the lunch bag reminder note, which I attach to a brown paper lunch bag.
This helps the note "stand out" which has eliminated "forgotten" lunches, plus parents are truly appreciative of the convenience. I don't want to haul heavy lunch boxes, but instead have a completely "disposable" lunch sent, so providing the bag, has also eliminated that issue as well.
Blank versions of all my notes, forms & checklists, are also provided.
I've included a variety of activities that can also be done before the trip, as I think students get so much more out of their field trip experience, if they have some in-school information and lessons to refer to.
To help build vocabulary and animal identification skills, I've included 35, animal pocket chart cards featuring real photographs of the animals.
There's also 3 different sets (30 cards in a set) of animal word & picture cards, so that children can play a variety of games, as well as practice sorting, sequencing & making patterns.
Another thing you can do with the cards, is play the "Hip Hippo Ray It's Feeding Time!" game. My students absolutely LOVE "feeding" the hippo. It's such a quick, easy and super-fun way to practice a variety of standards.
Besides the above mentioned cards, I've also included a set of animal cracker cards for upper & lowercase letters, as well as numbers from 0-50. Use the cute, poster-poem to introduce the game.
Likewise, there are many activities that you can do after your field trip to the zoo, so I've included worksheets, word finds, mazes, centers, writing prompts, graphing activities & some Venn diagrams.
It's very important for students to be able to process everything they've seen. One way to do that, is with the "feedback form".
You can do this verbally, as a whole-group activity on the bus, while children are excited to share what things they enjoyed the most, or interesting tidbits that they learned.
Completed projects make a cute bulletin board too. I've included a giraffe poster for the center of your display.
I sincerely hope that my latest "labor of love" gives you peace of mind, and that you enjoy these activities as much as I did creating them.
Here's wishing you a stress-free, relaxing and super-fun time, as you plan for, and go on an ed-venture to the zoo!
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Two of my nine grandchildren are coming over today to go swimming, so it's time to put my nana hat on along with some suntan lotion.
Wishing you a carefree day filled with giggles galore.
"The city is not a concrete jungle, it's a human zoo." -Desmond Morris
1-2-3 Come Do Some Zoo Animal Activities With Me
Are you planning a year-end field trip to the zoo? If so, I think you'll enjoy looking over these before and after-you-go, zoo activities.
Studying a variety of animals was always a fun theme for my Y5's and me. I didn't have a specific zoo theme with them, because I didn't want to steal the thunder from our first grade teachers. When I taught 1st grade that field trip was a much-looked-forward-to "ed-venture," culminating with our animal reports.
However, I know that lots of preschoolers and kinders all over the map visit the zoo, especially at the end of the year. After all, June is National Zoo Month, so why not! With that in mind, I decided to whip together some "zoo stuff" that you could review with your kiddos before their trip, as well as some activities you could do with them afterwards.
I have a huge collection of animal and zoo books, so I thought I'd make an alphabetical list of all my super-duper zoo-per favorites. It was a difficult task narrowing down my 3 boxes of these themed books, but I finally came up with 90.
I always tried to read some non-fiction books along with all the wonderful fictional storybooks, and have included them in my list, such as the job of a zookeeper. If you do a community helpers unit, these would be quick and easy read-alouds for that too. Click on the link to view/download the list of 90 Favorite Zoo books.
I really enjoy making templates for programmable notes home to parents, using cute clip art, so I whipped together a "We're Goin' On A Fieldtrip" form featuring dj Inkers sweet creatures.
Simply write in your data and you're good to go. Another item in the Zoo Fieldtrip Packet are some zoo scavenger hunts.
I sent my students on all sorts of scavenger hunts throughout the year.
They truly enjoyed them and learned a lot along the way, so I designed two zoo scavenger hunts that involve the alphabet.
I never liked to have my students holding things in their hands when we were on a field trip, stuff got dropped and slopped or lost.
Tears would ensue and something that was meant to be helpful became a hindrance.
Thus I suggest sharing the scavenger hunt with children before hand, so they are aware of what they need to be on the look out for.
Teachers can carry a copy on a clipboard with an attached pen. When someone spies something that begins with that letter or is on the list, you can check it off, circle it, or jot it down depending on what form you choose to use.
Once back, students can circle animals that they saw that are on the alphabetical list, or they can fill in something that they saw that begins with each letter of the alphabet.
You can make this a bit more interesting by having a competition between your students or another class that also went on the field trip, to see who got the most points.
Since we have a huge Hispanic population in our school, I tried to teach some Spanish words with each unit. My students really enjoyed learning new words and parents were pretty impressed when they shared their new-found vocabulary at home.
With this in mind, I included a list of Animals in English as well as Spanish.
There's also an alphabetical order worksheet, where students trace and write the animals in alphabetical order.
Finally, there's a "We Went To The Zoo" class book activity. I've designed a black and white as well as full-color cover, plus a template for the inside pages.
Students complete the prompts and draw a picture. (I've included a sample for you to share.)
Teachers collect and collate their pages into a zoo book. Read it as a whole group. When you come to a particular student's page, they read it.
Click on the link to view/download the Zoo Field Trip packet.
While working on these activities I wondered about students who don't live near a zoo, or teachers who don't have the time or the budget to take their students on a field trip, so I started researching virtual zoos online.
After several hours of work, I came up with a list of my top eight, the San Diego Zoo was one of my favorites.
I chose them because they were kid-friendly, contained live animal cams, videos, games, activities and a plethora of photographs with interesting information, which would be helpful for any animal report your kiddos might be working on. Click on the link to view/download the Virtual Zoo list.
Thanks for visiting today. As always, feel free to PIN away. My Pin It button is at the top on the menu bar. Be sure to stay tuned, as I'll be working on more zoo-themed activities the rest of this week.
"Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings!" -Evan Esar