Thursday, March 8, 2012

If I Ran the Zoo...

We've been working on classifying plants and animals in science.  I wanted to come up with a creative project that both classes could work on that would focus on classifying animals into groups.  I decided on having the kids create a zoo.  I made up a mini-webquest, which can be found on my classroom website.  I asked the kids to come up with six different groups of animals for their zoo, and then tell why they grouped the animals that way.  You should have heard the amount of excitement and chatter during this lesson!  It's a good thing that I don't mind kids talking, as long as they are on task.

It also happened to be an IPI Data Collection day, so we had teachers coming in and out at random times to see what was happening in the classroom.  They should have heard a LOT of discussions about whether or not a dolphin is a fish, where owls should go (with birds, or with forest animals), and so on.

Each group then had to draw a map of their zoo.  They LOVED this activity.  Here are some pictures of their zoos.  Nobody got completely finished today, but they've got the layout down.  They really just need to add color and then they'll be finished.

I like this one because they didn't make it just a rectangle.  

This is one of my favorites.  They have a teenager room for kids who don't want to go the zoo with their families.  And yes, they also have a honeymoon room, because it's a great zoo and people will want to spend their time there.  Yep. A honeymoon room.  They're still quite innocent at 5th grade!

This guy had to work on it by himself because he was causing problems in his group.  It turned out to be really great.  All of the roads are actually moving sidewalks, so people won't get tired of walking.  I love how he divided the groups of animals into individual exhibits.  I can tell this kid's spent some time at the zoo.
Overall, it's a fun, engaging project about classifying animals! Here's an added bonus:  this is a great activity to practice map skills!  We talked about how to read a map, what the parts of a map are, and how to make a map! An exciting, Q4 lesson!!!!


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