Block F - Baby Animals
Animals are always fascinating to children and this topic details numerous creative and exciting learning activities inspired by this stimulus.
This block about baby animals will stimulate learning about animal life cycles and growing up. Be inspired by stories and first-hand observations. Think about changes and discuss why they occur. Match baby animals to their adults and create dances about how animals learn by copying. There will be maths too, learning about comparing sizes and the language of measuring.
The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.
This Topic is written for Reception. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.
Read Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and think about how animal babies are sometimes different from their parents. Make first hand observations of caterpillars growing and turning into butterflies. Re-unite and match baby animals to their grown-ups. Play an animal match memory game, order life cycles, go on a caterpillar hunt and create their own butterflies using ICT and symmetry painting.
Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar book and talk about the life cycle of a butterfly. Listen to music and begin to create movements that fit with the music. Use different levels of dance to create their own life cycles. Children potato print their own hungry caterpillars, order the story and make caterpillars from playdough.
Children talk about the size of different animals and compare which ones are taller or shorter. They make estimates of how tall they think a baby animal is and compare this to themselves and their friends. They begin to use standard measures as well as non-standard. They order animals according to their size, find hidden animals in the sand tray and measure objects using their foot as a measurement.
Learn different names for baby animals, play a quick fire game to help remember some of these names. Collect counters when a correct name is matched to the baby animal. Make a baby animal book and match adult animals to their babies.
Look at changes the children have gone through in their lives. Discuss the things that they can do now, that they couldn’t do when they were a baby. Observe changes in themselves and their friends. Look at how baby animals change as they get older and think about why they need to change. Explore the life cycle of a frog, order the stages of an animal’s life by looking at changes and use a writing frame to sound out noises that a baby animal might make.
Talk about how adults have helped us to learn new things. Discuss how we learn new skills and copy a simple rhythm. Use copying technique in dance to explore what baby animals need to learn from adults. Take it in turns to be the leader and then the follower in the dance. Make animals from playdough, copy patterns using the peg boards and use a writing frame to write about what a baby animal needs to learn.