This lesson is a great introduction to a Pre K zoo theme. It would also be good to teach before a field trip to the zoo,
Zoo Animals and Their Needs Lesson Plan
Picture book about zoos - Two at the Zoo by Danna Smith
- Chart Paper
- Pictures of animals that you would find in a zoo and some that you wouldn't
- one piece of construction paper, per child
- one worksheet with pictures of 3 zoo animals and 3 pets or farm animals to color and cut out, per child
Read a book about going to the zoo to the class. A good one for preschoolers is Two at the Zoo, by Danna Smith. This simple counting story is about a little boy who takes his grandpa to the zoo and the animals they see there.
Students will learn what kind of animals they should expect to find in a zoo and then talk about the needs of animals to live.
Ask students what kinds of animals they would find in a zoo. Talk about the characteristics of these animals - they are usually wild animals not pets or farm animals, sometimes they are endangered animals, animals that live in in different countries that we might see if they weren't in a zoo. Then on chart paper make t-chart and brainstorm a list of some animals that you would find in a zoo and those that wouldn't be in a zoo.
Next talk a little bit about what animals need to live, especially in zoos. Tell the class that animals are living things and they need food, water, a place to live etc. You might choose a few animals and and discuss more specific things they would need in a zoo or in the wild. Penguins need cold temperatures. Giraffes and elephants need lots of space. Fish need water to swim in.
Hold up pictures of different animals and have the students show you thumbs up if they live in a zoo, thumbs down if they don't. Then discuss some of the zoo animals and what specials needs they might have in the zoo.
Give each students a piece of construction paper and have them fold it in half. On one side of the fold have them write 'Zoo' and on the other 'Not in a Zoo.' Then give them the handout with the animals on it. Have them color and cut out the pictures and then sort and glue them onto the correct half of the paper.
Have the students chose an animal and draw a picture of it and some of the things it needs to live.