What Makes an Animal

Time: 1.5 Hours (Can Be Shortened)

Grades: PreK-3

In this field trip, specially designed for young students, we’ll learn about what animals all have in common! We’ll also learn about the different major taxon of animals, and how they are different. For example, all mammals have hair, are born alive, and drink milk! Your students will also see some amazing biofacts… including full animal mounts, giant feathers, pelts, and skulls!

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What Makes an Animal:

Like most of our early childhood on-grounds programs, the What Makes an Animal program includes an engaging educational lesson, hands-on animal biofact interaction, body movement, animal noises, a fun craft, and time for open exploration of the museum. Read below to learn more about each of these; remember, your program can be shortened to fit any time constraints.  

Educational Lesson: 40 Minutes

This exciting program begins by looking at what all animals have in common. Your students will learn why a frog is an animal, but a tree is not. We’ll discuss the fact that all animals move (at least at one point in their life), all animals have sensory organs, all animals eat, and all animals have babies. 

Next, we’ll look at four of the major taxa of animal life: mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. For each of these groups, we’ll talk about what they all have in common. We’ll learn about warm-blooded vs cold-blooded, live birth vs laying eggs, hair vs feathers vs scales vs skin, and more. All of these topics are designed for the youngest of learners! 

Your students will see a lot of fun, touchable, animal biofacts during your virtual field trip! We’ll also use puppets while we’re learning about the animals!

During your program, we’ll use our voices and bodies to pretend to be many of the animals!  We’ll wiggle like snakes, howl like wolves, and fly like birds. Our early childhood programs are a great way to get your students moving and learning. Request a program today!

Craft: 20 Minutes

After your program, your students will be able to complete a craft… featuring some of the animals we just learned about!  For the youngest students, this might be a coloring page.  For slightly older kids, we can do some more involved crafts.  Either way, it will be a ton of fun for your kids!

Open Museum Exploration: 30 Minutes

While the program will give your students a wonderful look at different animals, our museum contains much more than just that! The open museum exploration time allows teachers to walk their classes around the museum, exploring many of the many topics found here, from dinosaurs to mining to pioneers to animals to Native American culture to national parks and more! While we include 30 minutes of museum exploration time in the program outline, teachers can spend as much time or as little time as their schedule allows in the museum!  

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