If there’s one thing nearly all kids love, it’s animals. They love to read about them, look at them, and learn unique facts about them. Kids can do all three in A to Z Animals. This narrated storybook introduces kids to all kinds of animals, from alligators to zebras. Read through this book with kids or have them read through it on their own. Then complete some of the activities below.
Make Animal Letters
A to Z Animals is organized alphabetically and features one animal for each letter. As you go through the animals, you can also reinforce kids’ basic spelling and phonics skills. You may work on one letter at a time or give each kid a different letter. Cut out a large letter from a piece of construction paper. Then, using markers or paint, and other art supplies, decorate that letter to look like an animal. For example, for the letter Z, kids can add a googly eye near the top and draw black stripes on the letter. For the letter E, they can add two eyes and turn the middle bar of the E into the elephant’s trunk.
Alphabetize the Animals
You can also build alphabet skills by writing the names of the animals on individual index cards or small pieces of paper and then mixing them up. Kids can then work together to place the animals in alphabetical order. To add more of a challenge, mix in other animal names. For example, kids may have to determine whether cat or cheetah comes first in alphabetical order.
Sort the Animals
There are many types of animals featured in A to Z Animals, and while they are all different, they also have some traits in common. Write the names of the animals in the book on index cards. You can also add a pictures of the animals to the cards. Using the information from the book, have kids group the animal cards into different categories. Some categories include:
- Fur or scales
- Land or water
- Type of habitat
- Food they eat
Sorting the animals into different categories will help kids learn more about the animals and build their critical thinking skills.
Research an Animal
After reading through the book, encourage kids to choose an animal to learn more about. You may research a single animal as a class or assign each kid an animal to research on their own (with assistance). Give kids a questionnaire to fill out about their animal. Some items to include on the questionnaire include:
- Type of body covering (skin, scales, hair, etc.)
- Fun Fact
You can also have kids find 2-3 pictures of their animal. Once kids have completed their research, they can share what they have learned with the rest of the class.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
If you’re planning a trip to a local zoo, read A to Z Animals before you go. When you get to the zoo, see how many animals from the book that kids can locate at the zoo. You can print out a sheet with the names and pictures of the animals for kids to check off while they’re at the zoo or simply review the book and ask what they saw when you return.
If you don’t have a zoo nearby or can’t go on a field trip, create your own scavenger hunt in the classroom or around the school. Print out pictures of the animals from the book and hide them around the classroom or school. Then have students walk around and try to find all of the animals from the book.
Whether they’re making animal letters or checking off animals during a scavenger hunt, kids will love all of these activities related to A to Z Animals. You can also use these activities when teaching kids about dinosaurs.