Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Celeste's Animal Study ~ Beavers and Deer

Celeste and I have been studying animals. I had decided a few weeks back to create a science unit study on animals just for her. She is only five years old, and everything that I was looking at online, curriculum wise, seemed a bit too much. She is concentrating on learning how to read for now, so this science unit study is just for fun.

I thought I would share with you what we are doing, and in particular the links that I have found useful, and of course the books we have enjoyed. A note about the books, you might not be able to find the exact same books at your library, but I am sure other titles on the same subject would be available.
The overall plan is to cover Animals from October to December. Loosely based on the Well Trained Mind grade 1 science schedule, we will continue on with the human body from January to March, then do plants from April to June.

I divided the animals into five sections: mammals, birds, reptiles, bugs, and water life. I then picked about four animals per category to study. I tried to choose Canadian animals whenever I could, but will include some of Celeste's favourite animals along.

The first animal we studied was the beaver. We enjoyed a few picture story books:
Get Busy, Beaver by C. Crimi, Old Beaver by Udo Weigelt, and Beaver by Glen Rounds. I also had borrowed a couple of non-fiction books from the library:
Beaver by Jolyon Goddard and The Life Cycle of a Beaver by Bobbie Kalman. These last two books we mostly skimmed over the text and enjoyed the photographs.

Celeste enjoyed playing the Benjamin Beaver game from the YTV web site, and we watched the "Beaver Family" video on the National Geographic site.

I had printed a Spot the Beaver activity page and a beaver colouring page with handwriting practice too.

Our next animal was the deer.
The two picture books we read were perfect. "Two Days in May" by Harriet Peck Taylor is based on a true story, where people helped protect a small herd of deer that found themselves lost in a city. Our second picture book was Bambi, adapted by Janet Schulman from the original story by Felix Salten. "Deer at the Brook" by Jim Arnosky was another favourite.
We used another book for looking at photos of deer (Deer by Wil Mara) and learning a little bit about them.
We also watched Disney's Bambi.
I printed a deer colouring page (with printing practice) and a Bambi colouring page.

We are collecting all the activity and colouring pages into a small notebook, where I am also writing a couple of sentences for Celeste on each animal studied.

If you enjoy reading about Celeste's Animal Study, and find it useful in any way, please let me know by leaving a comment to this post, and I will continue posting about our study.


  1. Thanks for sharing. It's always nice to see what others are doing.

  2. Oh, this so reminds me of elementary school. I was obsessed with woodland animals, particularly foxes! When they had us do a report on an animal, I picked foxes.

    Have fun! I love the Jim Arnosky books! We really enjoyed "Every Autumn Comes the Bear".

  3. SHe looks proud as peaches to have her very own special unit study.


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