Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Amphibians and Reptiles

To understand the difference between amphibians and reptiles; to be familiar with common ones; to not freak out about snakes

Game Plan
We used the comprehensive
Reptiles/Amphibians theme sheets from The Learning Page as the basis of our study. (You must be a member to access the pages, but it takes about 10 seconds to sign up and it's all free! I highly recommend site membership.) We used the fact sheets, fun sheets, mural, cut-outs, lesson plans and recommended reading. Then, in true homeschool fashion, we tweaked some materials to suit our style.

Books & Related Activities
Note: The books for this unit study seem in endless supply. Here are just highlights of our favorites.

"Everything Reptile: What Kids Really Want to Know About Reptiles" by Cherie Winner --- Print out
the crossword puzzle about reptiles.

"DK Eyewitness: Reptile" --- (This book is the springboard for discussion and served informally as the "textbook" for the study.) We used different pages for narration pages. After reading a certain section, the child shares what s/he learned and s/he (or the parent) writes it down. The student usually draws a picture for it.

"Komodo Dragons" by Marcia S. Gresko -- We used sentences in here for handwriting practice for our students. Visit the
online Komodo site.

"Alligators" book --- Read and color the fact sheet.

"What is an Amphibian?" by Bobbie Kalman -- Choose a favorite amphibian and draw and label its life cycle.

"The Secret World of Snakes" by Theresa Greenway --- Print out the
"Know/Want to Know/Learned" page before reading book. Fill it out before. Then, after reading, complete it.

Frogs/Toads -- We used entries from a regular children's encyclopedia. Print out and
complete this form after reading about frogs and toads.

"Snakes" by Marcia Mudd Ruth -- Write a poem about snakes using
this form. Help student brainstorm first, provide words in a "word bank" (scaly, fork-tongued, etc.), have them write it on a separate paper. Once they are done and you've made corrections, have them write the completed poem in the snake.

"The Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle" by Bobbie Kalman -- Print out
this sheet for instructions on making a walnut-shell sea turtle.The Gulf of Maine Aquarium has an awesome turtle section loaded with pictures, craft instructions, and more.
Links about turtles abound.

Field Trip
Check out your local nature center to see and learn more about reptiles and amphibians in your own backyard. Centers usually have cheap pamphlets for identifying them, too.

"All About Reptiles"
"Bill Nye the Science Guy: Reptiles"
"Bill Nye the Science Guy: Amphibians"

Online Resources/Printables
Reptiles and Amphibians lesson plans from The Learning Page
Free alligator crafts and activities from Enchanted Learning
The Reptiles: Alligators and Crocs (a PBS site)


Evann said...

Very cool! Wish you were in the neighborhood. You could include a field trip to our house: home to 1 iguana, 2 water dragons, 2 bearded dragons, 6 (I think) blue tongued skinks, 2 leopard geckos, 5 or 6 crested geckos, 2 armadillo lizards, 2 green tree frogs, 2 American toads, 2 water turtles, and I am sure I have left someone out!!

Vee said...

Awesome! Reason #452 for going to visit you. Sounds wonderful. My kids would be in hog heaven. (Reptile heaven?)

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