Spark interest in this topic, by asking the children to imitate the way that some familiar animals move. For example, waddle like a duck, fly like a bird, crawl like a spider. Can ducks only waddle? What other ways can they move? Show me. Use books, a video, photos to illustrate some animals that the children might not have had experience with.
Use musical accompaniment, such Carnival of the Animals, by Saint-Saens, or Rodeo by Copeland.
The ways that animals move are related to their shape, weight, the way they gather food, where they live, and how they protect themselves.
Many animals that can run very fast live on the plains of Africa, where there is a lot of space to run. (Cheetahs, antelopes, ostriches).
Can you think of some animals that can move in more than one way? Let’s make a list.
Let’s think of some ways that animals can move, that people cannot do. Are there ways that people can move, that animals cannot do?
Use extended vocabulary when describing animal movement, e.g. flutter, soar, zoom, lumber, skitter, creep, trot, canter, slink
Play a guessing game in which one player acts like a certain animal, and the rest of the group has to guess what animal the player is imitating.
Provide construction paper and markers to create pictures of animals that interest them. Ask each child to dictate the name of the animal or additional information (e.g., color, size) for you to write on the picture.
Brainstorm lists of animals that fly; that crawl; that burrow; that climb; that slither etc.
Some animals fly. Are animals the only things that you have seen flying? Are airplanes and helicopters alive? Why or why not? Anything similar about a bird and an airplane?
This topic might lead to an interest in types of animal footprints or tracks, and what they look like.