We’re rowing The Salamander Room as an intro to the animal kingdom, so this week we’re going over a cursory review of the vertebrates of the Animal Kingdom. I plan to go over this all more thoroughly in the fall, but since we’ve already read a lot of books on mammals, amphibians, and such, I thought it would be easy for Satori to view the Animal Kingdom visually. So I wanted to create a large project fast and easy.

I’m sure there’s many ways to make an Animal Kingdom Classification board, but if you wanted to use our idea, you’ll need a large white board, some ziplock bags (you can make your own pockets too), pictures of different animals (from Internet/magazines), glue, tape, scissors…

I took a large white project board and found this Animal Classification website to cut our colorful explanations of each type of animal. I printed it out on cardstock, here’s our 5 main groups:

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

I glued them to our board and taped up zip bags underneath them. Then Satori got in on the action by sounding out “animal kingdom” with me to spell it out on top.

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All ready to go!

0905-animal-kingdom-023For our animals to classify, you can use many sources to print out animal pictures – Internet, cut from magazines, etc… I had on hand this All About Animals Photo Library from Lakeshore Learning which I purchased for $39.95. It was a worthwhile investment as we love our animals and want to learn about them. It has handy sorting/classifying cards, but most importantly, it has animals of all kinds! Amphibians, insects, mammals, birds, you name it.

All About Animals Photo Library

All About Animals Photo Library

After I selected a handful of animal cards, I handed them to Satori to put them in the right animal place. It has been awhile since we read our Mammal book, so I caught her trying to stick the whale and dolphin in the fish category (she said they have no hair), but we got them in the right place eventually.

Humpback Whale - mammal

Humpback Whale - mammal

Satori also had a bit of confusion now and then on Amphibians verses Reptiles, although just a month ago, I would have too! So while I thought we had learned about amphibians, it’s apparent we’ll have to learn a little bit more about amphibians and reptiles and their differences. A few major differences are that amphibians have moist, smooth skin, lay eggs in water, and have both gills and lung, goes through metamorphosis… Reptiles have scaly/dry skin, lay hard eggs on land, have just lungs, and do not go through metamorphosis.

Frog - amphibian

Frog - amphibian

And here’s the big view of our new Animal Kingdom Classification board with our animal classifications filled out.

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We had a lot of fun doing this project, and most importantly, I could see how much Satori knew about her animals. I have a bunch of DVDs lined up on animals, and now we’re heading off to the library to get some animal books! Later this week, we’ll go over some classification exercises, I should’ve done these first, but oh well.

Satori and I got a lot of shrieks out of this Frilled Lizard.

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