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Posts tagged ‘animals’

Desert plants

There are some interesting plants that live in the desert. They have some adaptations to help them survive. 

Barrel cactus

Why does this plant have spikes instead of leaves?  Is this cactus part of a food web?

Brittle bush

hedgehog cactus

Joshua tree

prickly pear cactus

The prickly pear can be eaten.  Would your students want to eat one?  How are they harvested?

Saguaro Cactus

Why does the this cactus grow so slowly?

Here is an animal that lives inside the cactus.  The pygmy owl

What advantage does this owl have when it makes a nest in a cactus?

How does this animal contribute to the food chain?

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Desert animals

There are lots of different desert animals to learn about.  I am not sure where to start.  Here is a website that has information about desert animals.

http://www.desertanimals.net/

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/meerkat/

http://kids.sandiegozoo.org/animals/mammals/meerkat

Meercats are fun to watch.  There is even a show about them.

This site has a cute meercat craft.  http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/meerkat-crafts-for%20kids.html

 

Other activities

-Measure the temperature above ground.  Then dig a hole in the ground and take a temperature below ground. (not an activity to be done in the dead of winter)  Ask students what the differences were between the temperatures.  What other purpose is there for digging a hole to live in?  Why not live in a tree?

-What adaptations do the Meercats have to help them live in a harsh environment?  Some examples are frequent litters of pups, the can eat scorpions because they are immune to their venom, live in large family groups, use communication to alert danger.

Spotted Hyenas

-How are hyenas like dogs?  How are they different?

-What relationship do hyenas have with lions?

-Are hyenas predators or scavengers?

Texas horned lizard

-What class is this animal in?  Mammal, reptile or amphibian?

-Why does this animal have horns on it?

Lappet faced vulture

-Is this animal a predator or scavenger?

-Why is the birds beak shaped like it is?

-Where in the desert does this bird live?

Fennec Fox

-How has this fox adapted to live in a hot environment? Why does it have such big ears?

Experiment that demonstrates how ears keep animal cool.

http://www.education.com/science-fair/article/hot-desert-animals/?page=2

Dromedary Camel

-make a list of what students know about camels.  Read about camels on various sites and see what is true and what is false. (for example the hump is not made of water)

Handprint Camel Craft Project – Have the kids learn about desert animals, make the animal with finger paint, and use the animal as the middle of a web.  Write interesting facts they've learned about their animal around it.

Caracal

-How does this animal resemble other animals the students are familiar with?

-Is this animal closer to the size of a mountain lion or a house cat?  Why do you think it is this size?

-Have students make a desert scene showing where animals live in the desert.  Have them sh0w some animals that make burrows underground, in a cactus and under rocks.  What colors do you see in a desert?  Why are desert animals this color?

-On a world map mark where some of these animals are found.

http://teachingmama.org/desert-animal-printables/

I like the vocabulary cards on this site

http://owensfamily-gwyn.blogspot.com/2013/03/desert-animals-printable.html

Sort desert animals by class, location, color, size, diet…..

Desert Animal tube

Desert Diorama using Toob "Desert" animals

 

Another good site with information about desert animals.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/gobi-desert-animals.html

 

 

 

Christmas gift ideas

Here are some fun gift ideas that are still educational.

http://www.amazon.com/SmartLab-Toys-Squishy-Human-Body/dp/1932855785/ref=sr_1_13?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1382205805&sr=1-13&keywords=science

http://www.amazon.com/Snap-Circuits-Jr-SC-100-Kit/dp/B00CIXVITO/ref=pd_sim_t_2

http://www.amazon.com/Ein-O-Science-Mech-Discovery-Tank/dp/B00284AERU/ref=sr_1_64?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1382207375&sr=1-64&keywords=science

http://www.amazon.com/Thames-Kosmos-Little-Bubbles-Science/dp/B00B9BFSU6/ref=sr_1_112?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1382207630&sr=1-112&keywords=science

http://www.amazon.com/Toysmith-3553-Mammoth-Excavation-Kit/dp/B002Q7283W/ref=sr_1_14?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1382208253&sr=1-14&keywords=dinosaurs

http://www.amazon.com/GeoCentral-DGMY-Egypt-Mummy-Excavation/dp/B004GUSDAO/ref=pd_sim_t_3

http://www.amazon.com/Rhode-Island-Novelty-Assorted-Dinosaur/dp/B001M2FNH0/ref=pd_sim_t_24

http://www.amazon.com/Famemaster-Vision-Giraffe-Anatomy-Model/dp/B005JPOH32/ref=sr_1_97?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1382208737&sr=1-97&keywords=animal+models

I like using small animal models on a map.  The kids are interested to learn what animals live where we live.  They are surprised to learn how many animals they are familiar with live in Africa. I need to get some animal models that are animals from North America.

http://www.amazon.com/Safari-North-American-Wildlife-Toob/dp/B000GYSZDO/ref=sr_1_4?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1382209034&sr=1-4&keywords=toob

Arctic animals

http://www.amazon.com/Safari-681604-Ltd-Arctic-Toob/dp/B000GJ5GMW/ref=sr_1_9?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1382209165&sr=1-9&keywords=toob

 

 

Free science games online

Here are some free science games that I like.  Since the computer does not read the words to you I might do the games as a whole group.  For students who can read these would be great independent work.

Food chain

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/foodchains.html

Skeletons

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/movinggrowing.html

Plants and animals

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/plantanimaldif.html

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/plantsanimals.html

Parts of a plant

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/lifecycles.html

Motion and resistance

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/forcesinaction.html

Earth Moon and Sun

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/earthsunmoon.html

Friction- this would be fun to play and then try making a model of their car track to experiment with

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/friction.html

Electricity

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/circuitsconductors.html

Change

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/gamesactivities/reversiblechanges.html

Here is a list of the topics covered on this site.  It includes games, quizzes, video and experiments to try.

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/topics.html

Sparkles, sorting and explosions

I finally got around to making a snowflake with borax and  boiling water.  It worked over night. I like experiments that work right away. It makes a fun sparkly ornament.

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The sorting activity uses pictures from old calendars.  We get at least a dozen calendars from various organizations every year.  The pictures shown are for the categories mammal, insect, reptiles, fish and birds.  I would have labels of the categories for them to match up.  This science center would be done on the rug.  The pictures are large, so they would enjoy crawling around creating a giant graph. This activity could be extended by adding a writing or a verbal “report” on what they found.

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Other categories that I have come up with for the many, many calendar pictures I have are:

  • animals that can swim/fly
  • birds with beaks for meat/nuts/insects/nectar
  • animals bigger than me/smaller than me  (me being a 5 year old)
  • animals that live on land/water/both
  • animals with 0/2/4/6/8/10 legs
  • carnivores/herbivores
  • animals with spots/stripes/both
  • animals that live in salt water/freshwater
  • pictures of animals in various seasons
  • pictures of different habitats.  Ocean/mountain/desert/forest/river/grassland

Can you think of other categories that might work for this project.

The last experiment is the classic mixing vinegar and baking soda.  The balloon was small so you can guess the end result.

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POP!

When I win the lottery

Here are some cool science items that I would buy if I won the lottery.

Ant farm!!!!

So if I do win the lottery I am gonna have some really fun toys!  I might even share them with the kids…….maybe

Science books that I love

    

      Here is my latest favorite science book.  It covers many different animals and their adaptations.  The pictures are great!  This leads to several weeks of study of different animals, animal classification, habitat, camouflage, comparing our bodies to animal bodies etc.  The kids can play with suction cups to get the idea of how a gecko uses its feet, they can use tweezers, tongs and clothes pins to get an idea of different bird beaks. We discussed how it would be different if we had ears like elephants or legs like a giraffe. 

     This is another fun book.  It gets the kids to understand what foods grow above and below the ground.  They are amazed to find out where foods come from. It is also a great lesson on not being lazy and doing your work for yourself.

     Pretty much any of the National Geographic kids books are good.  They have levels so you can choose books for your students to read independently.  I often use them for students to “research” different animals.  They do not need to be able to read all the words to tell me what they learned about the animal’s habitat, food, babies, color etc.  They often point out things in the pictures that I have not noticed.