Author:
Sandy Benton, Amber Koski
Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Environmental Literacy and Sustainability, Life Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Level:
Preschool
Grade:
PK
Tags:
  • Agriculture
  • Connect-explore-engage
  • Domesticated Animals
  • Farm Animals
  • Outdoor Inquiry
  • Outdoor-pbl
  • Outdoors
  • Place-based Learning
  • Wild Animals
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    Domesticated and Wild Animals: Sights and Sounds

    Overview

    In this short unit of study, four-year-old kindergarten students learn to differentiate and identify common domesticated animals and local wild animals by sight and sound. This unit is a series of 3 video lessons and 2 field-based lessons. 

    Video Lesson 1

    Learning Target: I can make observations, ask questions, and form connections about the way wild and domesticated animals look.

    Materials Needed: 

    Lesson Summary:  In this video lesson, students learn to use the “I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of” routine for making observations of the features of wild birds, as seen in the video footage from the FeederWatch cam. Students apply the routine with observations of domesticated birds (just a short segment) in the video “Farm Animals on the Farm.” Birds were chosen as an example class of animals as they are present in most habitats for outdoor observation opportunities by students and teachers. The observation routines presented in this lesson may be used to compare wild grazing animals such as deer, elk, and bison to domesticated animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle.

    Video Lesson 2

    Learning Target: I can observe/listen to wild and domesticated bird sounds.

    Materials Needed: 

    Lesson Summary: In this video lesson, students learn to use the “I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of” routine for making observations of the sounds of wild birds, as the images are clicked from the interactive poster “Minnesota Bird Songs”. Students apply the routine with observations of domesticated birds in the video “Farm Animals on the Farm.” Birds were chosen as an example class of animals as they are present in most habitats for outdoor observation opportunities by students and teachers. Again, as in Video Lesson 1, only a short segment was used for this purpose. The observation routines presented in this lesson may be used to compare wild grazing animals such as deer, elk, and bison to domesticated animals such as sheep, goats, cattle.

    Video Lesson 3

    Learning Target: I can describe the ways that wild and domesticated animals use body coverings and shelters to stay warm in winter.

    Materials Needed: 

    Lesson Summary: In this video lesson, students will apply the “I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of” routine for making observations in order to describe the body coverings and shelters used by wild animals in winter using the snow layers and animals image by Marco Cibola found in the “Winter Unit” of Dynamic 2 Moms website (link above)

    Students will apply the routine with observations of animals in the video “How Do Animals Stay Warm in the Bitter Cold.” The teacher will guide students in describing and noticing that humans have constructed and maintained the shelters for the domesticated animals.  These animals do, however, often have body coverings similar to those seen on wild animals.

    In-person Field-based Lesson 4

    Learning Target: I can improve habitat to help wild animals to survive.

    Materials Needed:

    • garden/work gloves for each students
    • loppers and pruners for the adults to use
    • downed trees, branches, sticks, twigs; invasive tree species can be cut to be used as well
    • “Build a Brush Pile for Birds | Audubon” (online article for teacher reference) https://www.audubon.org/news/build-brush-pile-birds 
    • Brush Piles with Game Commission Biologist Dan Mummert (video 4:35 minutes) https://youtu.be/pXTGUBPYwPo 

     

    Lesson Summary: As a class, students will improve habitat for wild animals by creating brush pile shelters on school grounds.  Show students what a brush pile looks like and how it is created by viewing “Brush Piles with Game Commission Biologist Dan Mummert” (link above). 

    Take students outdoors to a woodland or area with down branches and other natural materials to be used in creating a brush pile.  Guide students in locating the brush pile near, but not on, well-used animal trails.  

    The brush pile may be best located at the edge of a woodland area or just out of the woods in the open.  The purpose of the shelter is to protect small birds and mammals from predators as they are in search of food.

    The teachers may use loppers, pruners, and saws to assist in cutting pieces of brush into the sizes needed. Supervise students in placing large logs at the bottom of the pile while adding smaller pieces to the outermost layers until the shelter is complete.

    In-person Field-based Lesson 5

    Learning Target: I can use my observation skills to find evidence that animals have or have not been present.

    Materials Needed: None

    Lesson Summary: The teacher will facilitate a discussion with students about observable animal signs that might tell them whether small animals have been using the brush pile habitat. Signs may include–tracks in snow or mud, bits of fur or feathers near or in the brush pile, animal scat or urine, signs of feeding (parts of plants or animals, blood), as well as smell that an animal has left behind. Sometimes students may see the animals themselves!

    Remind students to be respectful and to approach the brush pile quietly and slowly.  They should not reach into the brush pile, but make observations with their senses.

    Lead a discussion on what was observed and what the observations could mean. If there are repairs or revisions that need to be made on the brush piles, this would be the time to do so.