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Animal Unit Study

Here's a recipe for a simple animal unit for PreK- 6th using The Checklist as your planning guide.

The items in bold are taken from page 155 of The Checklist - Zoology (see page 90 of pdf sample).

Printable Version of this unit study. (PDF Document - Acrobat Reader required.)

Become a member of How to Homeschool Today and enjoy access to The Checklist Assistant, a database of multi-level, multi-learning style resources to use with this and other unit studies.

1. God's Purpose for Animals. Look up animals in a topical Bible. Here's some I found:

God's creation of animals: Genesis 1 & 2 

For discussion of evolution, see People below. 

Cloning - read about animal cloning from a Biblical perspective in Answers in Genesis.

Ordained as food for man: Genesis 9:2,3; Leviticus 11:3, 9, 21, 22; Deuteronomy 14:4-6, 9, 11, 20

Used as clothes for man: Genesis 3:21

Offered as sacrifices for man's sin: Genesis 4:4; 7:2-8; 8:20

Sent in judgement of man: Leviticus 26:22; Numbers 21:6, 7; Deuteronomy 8:15; 28:26; Ezekiel 5:17

Have your students write a report about something he/she studied in this section. Look through pages 130-131 of The Checklist for composition ideas. (Example: create a recipe for foods made from animals - like spaghetti and meat balls. Then cook the recipe.)

2. Careers in Zoology (4th--6th)

Read Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Animals and Nature by Diane Lindsey Reeves

Research an animal-related career on Occupational Outlook (click on "nature"). Older students will want to use the main Occupational Outlook site (Click on "Employment" then "Employment by Occupations")

Have your student interview and/or write a report on someone who works in an animal career of interest.

3. Animal Identification. Make an animal notebook using any or all of the following ideas:

Research animals on the National Geographic website: Animals A-Z. Do a search for a particular animal or browse the list. You'll find facts, pictures, videos and quizzes. 

Have younger students do coloring pages from National Geographic and place in their notebooks.

Take a trip to the zoo and have your student take photos of the animals. Paste one animal per page of the notebook. Have your child write the name of the animal and any other information you want them to include on each page. 

Animal classification poster (4th-6th):

Create an animal classification poster that includes Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus & Species. Illustrate each with pictures of animals.

Cute classification game.

Make multiple copies the Animal Report Form provided on my website. Have your students complete the form. Either draw pictures, print photos from website, or cut out pictures of animals in old magazines to include on the form. Create a booklet of favorite animals or by classification.

4. Conservation and Stewardship

Read books about conservation and record on your daily planner.

Read what the Bible says about animal stewardship.

Have your students write a report about something they studied in this section. Look through pages 130-131 of The Checklist for composition ideas. (Example: Write a persuasive essay on why we should or should not set aside land for animal preservation.)

Read about the Department of Agriculture and find out what it does related to animals. Record on page 116 of The Checklist.

If possible, visit a National Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center.

Read Blaze's Tribute Animal Rescue to see how people are taking care of abandoned horses. If you are unable to adopt, why not make a donation while you are there!

5. Animal Dissection, Lab - obtain a fetal pig, fish, or other animal and dissection kit for dissection lab. Complete a worksheet for a perch dissection.

6. Microscopic Life - see People below

7. Food Chains

Create an illustration of a food chain.

Read books about food chains.

Have your students write a report about food chains. Look through pages 130-131 of The Checklist for composition ideas. (Example: write a fact sheet on food chains)

8. Life Cycles

Read books about life cycles of animals.

Have your students write a report about life cycles. Look through pages 130-131 of The Checklist for composition ideas. (Example: draw cartoons illustrating the life cycle of a butterfly)

9. Animal Habitats

Read books about animal habitats.

Have your students write a report about animal habitats. Look through pages 130-131 of The Checklist for composition ideas. (Example: write captions to photos of animal habitats)

10. Animal Study & Anatomy (also see animal dissection lab above)

Field Trip: Take a trip to the zoo; visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park via its live web cam; or take a virtual tour of animals all over the world.

Listen to the sounds that animals make. From Busch Gardens.


Read book about invertebrates.

Read book about arachnids.

Read book about crustaceans.

Read book about echinoderms (starfish, sand dollars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers)

Read book about insects.

Read book about mollusks.

Read book about one-celled animals.

Read book about sponges and worms.

Read book about coelenterates (jellyfish, sea anemone).

Read book about vertebrates.

Read book about amphibians.

Read book about birds.

Read book about fish.

Read book about mammals.

Read book about reptiles.

Composition - Have your student write a report about one of the animals studied in this section. 

Research and composition: Select an animal from Animal Index of Smithsonian to research. Look at photos and use the web cam, when available. Write a story or report based on your research. 

Look through pages 130-131 of The Checklist for other composition ideas. (Example: Have an animal theme birthday party & write animal invitations, serve animal crackers, etc.)

Art - do an art project related to the study of animals - see page 167 of The Checklist for ideas (Example: make a sculpture of an animal from clay)

11. Animal Habits and Instincts

Read books about animal adaptation, camouflage, and extinction.

Read books about migration and hibernation.

Look up the terms: diurnal and nocturnal. Write down the definitions.

Read a fiction book about animals. Look through pages 119-126 of The Checklist for ideas. Examples: Beatrice Potter - The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Richard Atwater - Mr Popper's Penguins, or Jeanette Oke - Spunky's Diary.)

Have your students write a composition related to animal habits and instincts. Look through pages 130-131 of The Checklist for composition ideas. (Example: Write a fiction story, peom, or mystery about an animal)

12. People. Go through pages 138-143 to locate scientists who are involved in the study of animals. Have your child read biographies of one or more of these scientists and write a biography. Use the Famous Person Report Form on my website, if desired. Here are some I found:

Aristotle - classification of animals, add to page 46 of The Checklist under People also

Darwin - evolutionary theory, record on page 24 of The Checklist. Read about Darwin.

Leeuwenhoek - microscopic animals

Mendel - genetics

Pavlov - Pavlovian conditioning (dogs), record on pg. 179 of The Checklist also.

Pasteur - rabies

Become a member of How to Homeschool Today to access The Checklist Assistant for recommended reading on these people.

13. Terms. Make a glossary for your notebook. Include definition of terms used in this unit that you want to remember.

14. Music. Look through composers on pages 172-173 of The Checklist for a composer that might be related to the study of animals.

Have your students read a biography of composer, Tchaikovsky; listen to his music "Swan Lake," and write a biography of his life. 

Listen to other music with animal themes. 

15. Art History. Look through artists on pages 168-169 of The Checklist for a composer that might be related to the study of animals. Have your child read a biography of the artist, look at some of his/her art, try to imitate his/her work, and/or write a biography report.

John James Audubon - birds

16. History - Page 113 of The Checklist - Landmarks. Read about the American Eagle and how it came to be a symbol for the United States. Make a page for your notebook about the American Eagle.