So lets start with some fun stuff. First fun thing is the Raffi song Going to the Zoo! I love, love, love it! Unfortunately, they pulled the video from YouTube of him singing it. You can find it on random people’s pictorial videos, but for the sake of not sharing strangers family outings, I will share another version! Seriously I could sing this song all day!
And another great video for vocabulary!
Next is some picture prompts. I love using these to inspiring writing. Seriously… look at the picture below and imagine the vocabulary that could come from it! Your stories will improve greatly by adding this rich conversation prior to sending them off to write! Click here to get to my Picture Prompt Pinterest Board for this and many other pictures to use in class! (It’s a safe place to go look for pictures – go ahead type in zebra and see what kind of zoo animals you get… not always safe for school!)
I always feel lost about what to teach so I spent a lot of time organizing several themes into the Craftivity Books! I just love them! I decided ahead of time what animals I want to teach about, look though the pages, assemble and copy/staple them. For the zoo… if I spend 2 days on each animal (because of time limitations) I will have 2 weeks worth of lessons prepped and ready to go with this one product! (I will pull nonfiction books to read prior to this so I have lots of pictures for my students as well!) Click here to find it!
Five animals each having 11 pages of options to use with my kids including a fact page, circle maps, bubble maps, brace maps, writing pages and more! Lots of options with several pages for different grade levels, I would say pre-k to 2 would find this useful! Oh and the fun part… a craft to glue in for each animal! You will love, love, love it! Each animals each having 10+ pages of options to use with my kids including a fact page, circle maps, bubble maps, brace maps, writing pages and more! Lots of options with several pages for different grade levels, I would say pre-k to 2 would find this useful! Oh and the fun part… a craft to glue in for each animal! You will love, love, love it!
So now let’s prep for the zoo! I start with zoo hats! (You could really do these for any field trip.)
I buy the visors at Dollar Tree – 3 for a dollar with 2 different color options. I then group them together to form my field trip groups… so my chaperones can quickly grab all the red hat kids and go! It also makes it very easy for me to see from across the way if everything is OK. (I truly had a parent with 2 red hats and 2 yellow hat from across the zoo and I knew I had to go have a chat because they broke their groups up! Ugh!)
Moving on… the foam pieces I got from Joannes with a 40% off coupon but you can also buy smaller zoo pieces from Walmart for about the same price. Putting names is up to you, of course. Some will say yes and some will say no so use your discretion. You can even use the animals for groups… green tigers and green elephants. Kids love them and they make for super cute zoo pictures!
Moving on again… this is other favorite part!
I don’t just send my kids to the zoo.. I give them a job at the zoo! I want them to use what they have learned to find specific animals! I do this with my kinders and you would be amazed at how academic my field trip becomes! I send the kids to the zoo with a manilla folder. On the outside of the folder on one side is a zoo circle map where they recorded what animals they wanted to see and on the back a map. On the inside is the scavenger hunt and a row of 5160 stickers with the animals on them. As they use their maps to find the animals, they peel off the sticker and put on their scavenger hunt! Super fun! (Plus some bonuses like an emergent reader and writing pages!)
Well that’s about all the zoo I can take for one night! Hopefully you found a little something to use!
Oh wait… a freebie! Here is a form I use that helps keep my parents informed. I fill out the top, copy, and then send home as students send me pieces like money OR permission slips. This reminds parents ‘hey I got your permission slip but I need your moo-lah!’ It also keeps them informed of who is selected to go and if they can go on the bus with us. It’s a supplemental form to all the forms your school will require. So… they give me any piece of the requirements and I give them a copy of this with the circles checked. Of course located in my random freebie file!
There you! Zoo everything… well my zoo everything anyways! Have a great day everyone!
Thanks for reading along!
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Jennifer is the author and founder of Simply Kinder. She has over 15 years teaching experience with most of those being in kindergarten. She believes Kindergarten can be academic and fun!