Lesson Plan video presentation for children for animal science-plan created by Amberosity Gott

Stage One:

Established Goals:

  • Knows that animals live in different habitats on earth (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
  • Knows that plants and animals need food, sun, air and water to survive (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
  • Develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means including observation, discussion, drawings, maps, and charts (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)

Understandings (from Bloom’s Taxonomy):

*  (Knowledge Level) list 3 animal species that make their homes in the forest

*  (Knowledge Level) describe what type of home these animals live in.

*  (Comprehension Level) identify 3 animal species that live in the forest from video, pictures or personal sightings

*  (Comprehension Level) explain what animals need to make a home in the forest; food, water, cover, and materials

*  (Comprehension Level) describe through discussion, writing, or drawing 2-3 characteristics of a chosen species from the forest.

*  (Application Level) demonstrate the behavior of one species of forest animal through roleplay.

Students will know…

  • 2-3 species of animals that live in Maine forests and how to identify these species.
  • Animals use resources from forests to make their homes.
  • Animals have specific adaptations that allow them to live in different habitats.

Essential Questions:

  • What types of animals live in a forest?
  • What do animals need to live in a forest?
  • What characteristics do animals that live in forests have? How do these characteristics help them survive in forests?
  • What does a forest habitat look like? Where do animals live in this habitat?

Students will be able to…

  • Identify 2-3 species of animals that live in Maine forests.

Stage 2: Assessment Evidence

Performance Tasks:

  • Students in the classroom or in the forest setting will be asked to list and/or identify animal species that are native to the Maine forest. This may take the form of on-site identification of animal species in the forest setting. This could also be incorporated in the classroom or forest through a scavenger hunt game where they must find and identify pictures in cases of lack of access to forest areas or bad weather.
  • Short report identifying 2-3 characteristics, including at least 1 specific adaptation for forest dwelling, of a chosen species (report either written or oral)

Other Evidence:

  • Forest journaling including notes, drawings and photos of their observations and ideas on forest species and their habitat.
  • Contributions to class discussions about animal species, habitat and forest ecosystems/communities
  • Ability to roleplay at least 1 animal species during class activities based on their knowledge of animal behavior, characteristics and adaptations

Stage 3: Learning Plan

Field Trip: Forest Exploration for Journaling and Observations

  • Students should understand basic forest safety rules such as staying with the group, not disturbing plants or wildlife, not approaching or feeding wildlife, and leave no trace principles.
  • Students should have some introductory knowledge of forest animals, characteristics and adaptations before taking the field trip.
  • Teachers should choose a list of species for students to focus on before the field trip. Students should also be encouraged to identify or study any other species of animals or plants they wish beyond this list.

Species suggestions:

  • Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
  • Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)
  • White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
  • Black bear (Ursus americanus)
  • Northern raccoon (Procyon lotor)
  • Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
  • Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus)
  • American deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)
  • Yellow bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
  • Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
  • Hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
  • Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
  • Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
  • American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Materials and Preparation:

  • Teachers will need to identify a local forest setting suitable for children to walk through. The setting should be a good representation of a Maine forest with areas suitable for children to spend time journaling. The forest should also ideally have prominent signs of animal inhabitants.
  • Journaling materials (Notebook with white or lined paper, pencils, crayons, markers etc)
  • Laminated photos of animal species (in case they are not sighted)
  • Appropiate outdoor wear for each child (jackets, sneakers)
  • Field guides


  • Once at the site have children pair into groups of 2-3.
  • Have students explore the site within preset boundaries with their groups
    • Students should be looking for animals or signs of animals
    • Questions to answer:
      • What do animals need to survive in the forest?
      • What signs do animals leave behind?
      • Where would you live if you were a forest animal?
      • What does a forest habitat look like? Where do animals live in this habitat?
    • Have students regroup and share their observations. Discuss answers to the questions above.
    • Lead a class exploration of the site. Use combination of laminated photos, signs of animals (scat, food remains, tracks, holes or burrows) and student observations to discuss each animal species, their homes and adaptations.
      • Questions to answer:
        • What types of adaptations does this animal need to live in this type of home?
        • What signs does this animal leave behind?
      • Ideally while still at the site assign each student an area to sit within the forest and give students 10-30 minutes (depending on age and time available) to journal their observations. Journals can include written or drawn observations, poems, drawing of species or signs of species they saw etc…
        • If time is not available at the site have students complete their journals as soon as possible within the classroom.
        • For very young students it may be best to have them sit as a group within the forest to journal.

Activity: Animal Charades

  • Students should have a basic knowledge of the animal species being studied by the class, their behavior, and their characteristics.
  • This activity can be used as a fun way to review material learned about animal species or as an avenue to retain/encourage further interest partway through the unit.

Materials and Preparation:

  • If assigning animals, individual papers with animal names and pictures or a list of animals to choose from for students to reference.
  • Ideally every student should be able to act out a different animal. For larger classes teachers may choose to have two students work together to act out an animal.
  • A method of choosing the order that students will play (popsicle sticks, pieces of paper in a hat)
  • Clear space in the classroom or gym for the game


  • Have students sit in a circle with enough space in the center for the “animal” to act out clues.
  • Choose which student will go first. Teachers may either assign an animal to each student or ask students to pick an animal from a preapproved list.
  • Student that is the “animal” does not talk or make animal sounds. They act out their animal and give clues on its characteristics (E.G. A student who chooses a mouse may pretend to scamper and chew on seeds.)
  • Other students take turns guessing what type of animal the student is pretending to be.
  • When a student guesses correctly teachers may choose to have that student be the “animal” next or to continue by choosing the next “animal” at random/in a predetermined order.
  • Continue until all animals have been used and/or all students have had a turn.
    • Questions to answer:
      • What characteristics do animals that live in forests have? How do these characteristics help them survive in forests?

How do these animals behave? Why might they behave this

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