We have been studying the African jungle and having so much fun as well as learning awesome facts about this wonderful continent! It has been so rewarding to hear my students say things like "This African animal lives in the rainforest, so it can't live with that animal because it lives in the grasslands." They have been able to tell me how many continents we have on the Earth and that different habitats support different kinds of life! Woo hoo! I feel like shouting "Score!"
So here is what we have been doing (and will continue doing through next week)....... Warning.... this is a long post with A LOT of pictures!
Here are some pictures of our classroom environment:
Here is a picture of what the animals look like before paper mache. I use newspaper and masking tape to form the shapes. The legs on the elephant are TP rolls. I use paper towel tubes for the giraffe legs.
It takes a day or two for the animals to dry and then we add details such as eyes and a nose to the animals with tacky glue. I use this activity to teach the children the characteristics of the different animal classes, so they add feathers to the birds, small pieces of fake fur to the mammals, buttons or sequins to the reptiles, and so on......
We also read stories about the people of Africa and compare and contrast our differences. We look at traditional African clothing and masks and then the children create an African child wearing an African mask.
The pictures below show our display; their African animal is sitting in front of their African child. The children wrote one interesting fact about their animal on the sentence strip above their child and animal.
Here is a fun art project that I found on Debbie Clement's Rainbows Within Reach blog. The children drew a giraffe on yellow construction paper and then used their oil crayons to add spots and details. They wrote their name along the side of their paper. When finished, they sponge painted the sky around their giraffes. I plan to do a shared writing activity with them about the giraffe next week.
Each child made a parrot to hang up in our classroom "jungle". I copied them onto cardstock on both sides. We discussed how both sides should look the same and they used their Cray pas to color them. After they cut them out, they glued feathers onto their parrot.
Finally, we will be studying the river habitat next week. To begin this study, the children created a mini representation of themselves wearing jungle cruise gear as well as fish in the river. The fish look more like tropical fish than river fish! Oh well! The children added more fish after I took this picture and they are even more beautiful! :) This idea is from Kinderby by Kim.
If you are interested in my African Jungle Animal unit, you can find it here...
Also, here is a freebie to go along with this unit! Enjoy!
Until next time!