Desert life is so exciting because we are surrounded by it every day, so we started our adventure with animals that live there. Coyote starts with Cc…. and so does cactus and Cactus Wren! Cc was the first letter that we learned as we practiced howling at the moon like coyotes and painted prickly cacti to decorate our classroom. We had to fit in the letter Qq for quail while we had the opportunity and went on a quail hunt around the classroom. Some other animals that we read and talked about were Gila Monsters, Vultures, Rattlesnakes, Hawks, Javelinas, Mountain Lions, Bobcats, and Road Runners! We loved pretending to be some of the animals with the song The Animals in the Desert (to the tune The Wheels on the Bus). Here are some of the books we read if you want to revisit them with your child.
The Gingerbread Cowboy, Janet Squires
A Desert Hello, Abby Mogollon
Way Out in the Desert, Jennifer Ward
Desert Life, National Geographic
Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?, Bonnie Lass
African animals were just as interesting and fun. We spent some time learning about the letter Ll for Lions. We were very excited to learn about this letter because two of our students’ names start with Ll as does Miss Lindsey! We made some super cute lions out of paper and paper plates. This activity was so fun because we really got to use our cutting skills and each lion turned out so different. We discussed about how some animals are carnivores and hunt other animals for food. We practiced being lions hunting zebras as was shown in one of the books we read. We also sorted other large cats and found some more that started with Ll… Leopards! This was fun and lead to quite the discussion…. Should Snow Leopards go with Ll or Ss, and how about Mountain Lions because they are still a Lion! We definitely had a chance to practice those language skills with this one as many a preschooler argued their point!
We ended our unit on animals with Zz for Zoo and Zebra. We attempted to paint zebras in class but we got carried away and they all ended up black horses! We did have a great time singing a new zoo song, “Do You Know the Animals?” (to the tune of The Muffin Man) and took turns thinking of different zoo animals to act out. Our favorites were the Flamingo and once again the Road Runner…. Because you have to run very very fast! We also learned a song about some silly monkeys who get eaten by a crocodile and practiced our counting and math skills.
Here are some great zoo books we read….
The Tawny Scrawny Lion, Kathryn Jackson
123 to the Zoo, by Eric Carle
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, by Eric Carle
Goodnight Gorilla, Peggy Rathman
Counting Crocodiles, Judy Sierra
Lions Cubs, National Geographic
There is never enough room to fit everything in that we have accomplished! In every learning center there are also exciting things happening… like building a zoo with Legos and our African sensory tub and our new roll and stamp counting game and…. The list goes on. A big thank you to all the families for making it to the Phoenix Zoo to complete the learning experience! They thought it was pretty special going with all of their preschool friends!
We will be spending some time gearing up for the holidays and beginning our next theme... Weather! There is no denying the excitement as this time of year speedily approaches so we are just going to embrace it!