Animals: Teaching Children the Italian Names

Animals: Teaching Children the Italian Names
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This lesson plan will give you a suggested process and the tools you need, including audio files and worksheets, to help your students identify familiar animals using the Italian language. After this lesson, your students will be asking their parents for ‘cagnolini’ instead of ‘puppies’ in no time!


1. Print out Worksheets and Index Cards from the Language & Culture Media files for Teaching Children Italian. The first worksheet

lists the animals in alphabetic order: This will be used as a guide for the adult teaching the lesson. The second worksheet is actually several pages of index cards. These index cards are to be cut and used as a learning tool.

2. Have children find pictures of each animal and paste on the opposite side of the index card with the correct corresponding name. So for anatra the child will paste a picture of a duck behind the index card. This will help with the testing later on. Have children study these cards.

3. Go to where you will find most of the animals named with corresponding audio files. Here you will listen to how to say the words in Italian. The worksheets list more animals than those in the audio files, so do not be discouraged.

4. Test children using the index cards. Show the picture of the animal and have them state how we say this animal in Italian. For every animal they do not get correct, have them write this animal in Italian three times. This method will help drill the word and image into their mind. They will learn to associate the picture with the name.

5. When you are out, or even inside, have children state animals in Italian. For instance, if they have a dog, start calling him “Cane” instead of feed the dog say “feed the cane”.

6. Bring children to the zoo and a farm for two very important and fun field trips. Children will learn more about the animals while testing their knowledge of the Italian language.

7. After you think the child has grasped all of the animals, test the child without the pictures. Have the child sit down and fill out the last worksheet, which will have either the English or Italian word for each animal. The child is to fill in the corresponding word.

Using this lesson, children will start to apply the Italian language to animals in everyday and not so everyday life. In our next lesson we will look at family members.

Beginning Grammar

This series is now continuing with an article on using pronouns and the verb “piacere”, meaning like, with the vocabulary learned so far.

This post is part of the series: Teaching Children Italian

These articles offer free lessons in teaching children the Italian language. These lessons will focus on colors, the alphabet, numbers, animals, family members, parts of the body, common outside items, common household items, and common phrases.

  1. Colors in Italian: Language Lesson Plan
  2. Teaching Children the Italian Alphabet
  3. Uno, Due, Tre! Teaching Children Numbers in Italian
  4. Animal Vocabulary: Teaching Children Italian
  5. La Famiglia: Family Members Names in Italian
  6. Parts of the Body: Teaching Children Italian
  7. Teaching Children Italian: Parts of the House