Going to the Zoo

My little kinder babies have been studying about zoo animals for two weeks now.  I think they are now ready for our zoo field trip at the end of the month.  My zoo unit is one of my favorites to teach because the students are so interested in all the animals.  :)

When I introduced the unit, we did a cooperative learning structure called "Rally Robin".  The students are paired and then one person shares 1 idea, then the next person shares 1 idea.  This is a great structure when you are trying to generate a list.  I had the students use "Rally Robin" to generate a list of animals we would see at a zoo.  Here is what we came up with:

We focused on an animal a day for 9 days.  The 9 zoo animals we learned about were hippos, rhinos, monkeys, tigers, lions, alligators, zebras, giraffes, and elephants.

I start every morning with some sort of recap of the learning we did yesterday as well as a preview about what we learn today.  I like to do this with chit-chat messages.  Here are a couple of the chit-chat messages we did during our zoo unit.

The first couple of days during our unit I taught the students how to play a new sight word game during reading groups.  It is called ROAR!  It is like many other sight word games where the students pick a card, read the word, and keep the card.  If they pull a ROAR card, they have to put all the cards back in the pile.  They LOVED this game!!!  

We also used the centers in my Going to the Zoo unit.  Here they are in action:

I love to have the students do non-fiction writing when we are doing our themed units.  We made the "All About Zoo Animals" book from my unit.  Here are so samples of my students writing.  I am so proud of how far they have come this year.

Look at those illustrations.  Aren't they fabulous?

We love to make crafts in my room.  :)  What kid doesn't like to get out the scissors and glue every once in awhile?  As we make our crafts, we talk about the importance of each body part or what it is used for.  This way we are also making connections to science while we are creating our masterpieces.  Both of these crafts are from Deanna Jump's zoo unit which you can find {here}.

We also used the math centers from my unit, but somehow I never ended up getting any pictures of them in action.  Probably because I was using my math center time to assess my little kinders.  If you are interested in any of these centers or ideas, you can check out my "Going to the Zoo" unit by clicking on the image below.

Next week we will start a two week unit on ocean animals.  I plan on using Deanna Jump's Ocean unit and then my sweet friend Khrys' Ocean Animals unit.  Click on the images to check them out:

I am working on some Ocean themed math centers that I hope to finish tonight or tomorrow as well as an ocean emergent reader.  My students love them and look forward to adding these books to their "bag of books."

Since my students loved the ROAR game so much, I decided to make a SHARK game.  It is played the same way as I described above.  This is a freebie in my TpT store.  Click on the image to grab it for your classroom.  :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend friends!  It is finally supposed to stop raining tomorrow and I am taking my niece to get pedicures.....can't wait!!  :)


  1. Busy week!! We are teaching the same themes as well...just finished the zoo and now starting to work on the ocean (my fave!) Thanks for the freebie.

    If you haven't or if you don't know about it, check out San Diego Zoo (great webcams!!--and it now has a Koala Cam!!!) And Houston zoo has a giraffe and rhino cam!!

    Monteray Aquarium has a HUGE ocean cam! Hammerheads and all!

    Have fun!

    Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten

  2. Cute--I made a zoo post earlier this week with math activities for the zoo. I also started making a Teacher Blog Directory. Check out my blog if you want to be listed on there. Have a great day!
    Kids Math Teacher

  3. I started using Khrys's ocean animal unit this week and it was perfect for what we were learning about. We do a huge habitat study and it was perfect for ocean animals! We did the octopus experiment and they loved it! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend :)
    Kickin’ it in Kindergarten

  4. Looks like you and your kiddos have been having a lot of fun. I bet the zoo trip will be great. I remember loving going to the zoo on field trips. Also, I love the idea of Rally Robin and Chit Chat.

    Compassionate Teacher