Listen to tales about animals that like to come out in the day and animals that like to come out at night. Think about concepts of night and day and time. Focus on animals that live in the countryside and especially the ones that prefer to come out at night. Learn about British mammals such as foxes, badgers and bats and also snakes, including the adder and the grass snake. This is a lovely block with a special focus on music, movement and dance.

Session 1 Night and day

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen attentively in a range of situations.
  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what is heard with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
  • Talk about past and present events in own lives and in the lives of family members.
  • Know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this.
  • Know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

Teaching and Activities

Children explore the concept of daytime and night-time. They share bedtime routines and know what to do when they wake up. They identify activities that happen during the day and at night.

Teaching Outcomes
To know the difference between night and day and how people prepare for night-time and daytime, to begin to understand that some animals are active during the day while others are active at night.

Children will:

  • Know how and why people prepare for night-time and daytime.
  • Understand that people dream when they sleep and dreams can be funny and frightening.
  • Adapt a familiar lullaby.
  • Classify daytime and night-time activities.

You Will Need

  • Night Monkey Day Monkey by J. Donaldson
  • Soft toy monkey with daytime and night-time clothes/items
  • Paper plates
  • Coloured string, beads, feathers
  • Soft toys
  • Story books
  • Two hoops

Session 2 Fabulous flying animals

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen attentively in a range of situations.
  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Pay attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
  • Use phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.
  • Know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
  • Make observations of animals and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
  • Represent ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology and art.

Teaching and Activities

Children learn about diurnal and nocturnal flying animals and understand why they are active at different times of the day. They identify different British flying animals, explore their characteristics and sort them.

Teaching Outcomes
To identify specific diurnal and nocturnal flying animals and to explore the physical characteristics of those animals through art and writing.

Children will:

  • Be able to identify diurnal and nocturnal flying animals.
  • Write descriptive words/phrases.
  • Use their imagination to combine media/materials.

You Will Need

  • Owl Babies by M. Waddell
  • A1 black and blue paper
  • Wooden spoons
  • Cardboard tubes
  • Bird seed
  • Honey
  • Black outline of a bat
  • Bird-spotter guide
  • Clipboard
  • Binoculars

Session 3 Deep underground

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
  • Show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements
  • Use phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.
  • Write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
  • Use what has been learnt about media and materials in original ways.

Teaching and Activities

Children understand that some animals burrow underground. They identify nocturnal British burrowing animals and describe their features through art and design.

Teaching Outcomes
To identify which nocturnal animals burrow underground to make a home; to use a range of art media to represent different burrowing nocturnal animals; to listen attentively to information about burrowing nocturnal animals and record ideas in writing.

Children will:

  • Identify which nocturnal animals build a home underground.
  • Compare and contrast the features of burrowing animals.
  • Write using descriptive language.
  • Express their thoughts and ideas using a range of media and techniques.

You Will Need

  • Pop-up tunnels/tents
  • Blankets
  • Toy badger, fox, rabbit and mole
  • Air dry clay
  • Water pots
  • Small pebbles
  • Googly eyes
  • Pompoms

Session 4 Careful creepers

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen attentively in a range of situations.
  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what is heard with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements.
  • Move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space.
  • Handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
  • Solve problems, including doubling.
  • Use everyday language to talk about size and compare objects.
  • Sing songs and dance.
  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture and form and function.

Teaching and Activities

Children know hedgehogs and cats are nocturnal. They explore the behaviour and physical characteristics of British nocturnal animals through dance and movement. They express their thoughts through art and design.

Teaching Outcomes
To know that hedgehogs and cats are nocturnal animals; to describe their physical features; to replicate their movements through dance and learn a bedtime lullaby.

Children will:

  • Know hedgehogs and cats are nocturnal animals
  • Recognise the physical features of a hedgehog and cat
  • Understand why hedgehogs are a successful nocturnal animal
  • Move with purpose and control

You Will Need

  • Peace at Last by J. Murphy
  • Tambourine
  • Hedgehog outlines
  • Printing media
  • 1- 9 dice
  • Clothes pegs
  • Air-dry clay
  • Sticks/twigs
  • Playdough
  • Wool/string

Session 5 Carnival of the nocturnal animals

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Express effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs.
  • Be confident speaking in a familiar group, talk about ideas, and choose the resources needed for chosen activities.
  • Say when help is or isn't needed.
  • Sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them.
  • Represent ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance and role-play.

Teaching and Activities

Children take part in a musical extravaganza! They explore how to make repeating musical patterns from percussion instruments and perform collaboratively. They make a mask of their favourite British nocturnal animal and celebrate their learning.

Teaching Outcomes
To select musical instruments, create musical patterns and express their thoughts through music and art to create an original musical composition.

Children will:

  • Investigate how to select and play tuned and untuned percussion instruments.
  • Work collaboratively to compose a short musical rhythm.
  • Express their thoughts and ideas through art and design and technology and art.
  • Take part in a collaborative musical performance.

You Will Need

  • Tuned and untuned percussion instruments
  • Thick cardboard
  • Decorative media: wool, fake fur, feathers
  • Snakes and ladders game
  • White paper plates
  • Rubber discs
  • Digital camera/recording equipment