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ZOO Mommy School Unit
Letter: Z Shape: Circle Number: Six Nursery Rhyme: Sally the Camel

Zoo Field Trip Go on a field trip to the local zoo! Use the attached scavenger hunt to look for animals with special characteristics. Draw or write the name of the animal that fits each characteristic. You can also use the attached zoo check-off list to find specific animals and color them as you go! Playdough Activities Use animal-shaped cookie cutters to create zoo animals. You could also play with animal crackers in the play dough. Place pictures of animals inside protective sleeves. (You could also laminate them.) Have children roll out play dough into long “snakes” of play dough. Show children how to use these “snakes” to make bars of animal cages, covering the animals. Zoo Cards Using attached zoo pictures cards, play Zoo Memory/Match. You can also use the cards for patterning or vocabulary cards. Finally, you can play “Animal Charades” by drawing a card and acting out the actions of that animal. Zoo Keeper Dramatic Play Have a variety or props that children can use to play zoo keeper. Some props might include: Boots, safari-type hats, vests, nets, gloves, pails, and stuffed animals. They can practice feeding and taking care of the animals. Monkey See, Monkey Do One person is chosen as “it.” He/she makes a funny movement and

everyone else tries to imitate it. Animal Patterns Print the animal print patterns and mount on index cards. What animals do they belong to? (You could find pictures of matching animals and match them to pictures.) Zoo Animal Shadow Match Complete your own animal shadow match by matching animals to their shadows of similar shapes. Find this adorable printable at 2 Teaching Mommies:

Elephant Soccer Instead of kicking a ball back and forth, hit the ball with your elephant “trunk” (link hands together and extend arms straight down). Zoo Tag This is a fun game to play in a group or for P.E. at school. One child is chosen to be “it” and stands in the center of the gym. The remaining children stand on either side of the gym. As long as they are touching the walls of the gym, they are “safe.” The children gather together and secretly select one animal that they will act out. All the children start acting out the selected animal. The child who is chosen to be “it” must guess what animal they are acting out. He/she yells out guesses. Once the correct guess is yelled out, all of the children must immediately run from one side of the gym to the other. As they are running, the child who is “it” tries to tag as many children as he/she can. Once tagged, these children join the child who is “it” in the center of the gym for the next round. The game continues with fewer children acting out the selected animals each round, until one child remains who has not been tagged. This child is the winner!


Bear Walk Race across the room on all four’s, bending at the hips with legs straight and arms reaching the floor. (Children seem to be quite good at this exercise, though it is much harder for adults!) This is also a fun

relay race. Penguin Race Race across the room with a ball squeezed between legs while running.

Marble Zebra Precut a zebra shape on white paper. Use black paint to marble paint the zebras. Paper Plate Lion Using orange or tan paper, cut out a circle for the lion’s face. Add ears, nose, mouth, whiskers, and google eyes. Curl orange and yellow ribbon and glue around the face as the lion’s mane. Handprint Elephant Stamp child’s hand in gray paint. The 4 fingers will become the elephant’s 4 legs, and the thumb will become the elephant’s trunk. Thumb Print Monkeys Draw a tree on a paper for your child. Let your child create thumb print monkeys by pressing thumb in brown inkpad. Create monkeys by pressing two thumbprints on top of each other, connecting them. Draw on face, arms, and tail. Dotted giraffes (or cheetahs!) Cut out the shape of a giraffe on yellow paper. Place spots on the giraffe using brown bingo markers. Or dip an eraser in brown paint and give the giraffe some spots! (There are more art ideas in the “Shape” section.)

Animal Sorting Have bowls filled with different habitat materials. Have one bowl filled with grass for land animals, one bowl filled with water for water animals, and one bowl filled with cotton balls to represent clouds/sky for flying animals. Sort plastic animals into their appropriate habitats. Sand/Water Play Dig and Sort – Bury a variety of plastic animals in the sand. Have the children use their hands to dig and find them. You could also bring out 2 sand buckets and have children sort the animals into land/sea animals, big/small animals, etc. You could also bring out a water bottle, washcloth, scrub brush, etc. Allow the children to pretend to give the animals a bath.

Elephant Counting Make a circus ring with several elephant cut-outs in the ring. Ask your child, “How many elephants are inside the circus ring?” and “How many of the elephants are outside of the circus ring?” Sally the Camel Visual Aids You can download your own visual aids that show “Sally” the camel with all different numbers of humps! Use these visual aids up to the number 6 to practice number recognition and to count the humps. Giraffe Play dough Mats Print the giraffe mats from Pre-Kinders. Practice numeral identification to count playdough leaves and give the giraffes leaves to eat! Who’s the Tallest/Who’s the Biggest? Use the attached visual aids to arrange the giraffes from shortest to tallest and the elephants from smallest to biggest. Roll An Animal Graph You can download your own animal dice at 2 Teaching Mommies. Ask your child to roll the dice and mark what animal they roll on the


animal graph. Here is the link to both downloads:

Five Little Monkeys Use the attached song and visual aids to practice the song and story of the “Five Little Monkeys.” This is also fun to act out—children as monkeys and adult as alligator.


Rumble in the Jungle After reading Rumble in the Jungle, you can use the coloring pages for each animal to review the poems and study an animal each day.

“Going to the Zoo” – Tom Paxton (Raffi has a great version of this song, too!) “Animal Fair” “At the Zoo” by Anna Lee “Five Little Monkeys” – Dr. jean “Monkey See and Monkey Do” – Twin Sisters Productions “The Elephant” – Hap Palmer “Willoughby Wallaby” – Raffi “Sally the Camel” – I like the version by “Teddy Bear Singers” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” “Lions and Tigers and Bears”


Zebra Sandwiches Take a piece of white sandwich bread and make stripes using peanut butter. Use a horse-shaped cookie cutter to cut out zebras. Animal Cages Spread some frosting onto a graham cracker square. Place an animal cracker on top. Place black licorice strings over top to make it look like animal is in a cage! Monkey Bread 1/2 c. chopped pecans ½ c. sugar 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 4 (7.5-oz.) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar ½ c. butter, melted Sprinkle pecans evenly in bottom of a well-greased 10-inch Bundt pan. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl. Cut biscuits into quarters, and roll each piece in sugar mixture. Layer sugar-coated pieces in pan, covering the pecans. Combine brown sugar and butter. Pour evenly over dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto serving platter. You can find this recipe here: Animal Cracker Painting Make edible paint from corn syrup and food coloring. Use Q-tips to paint the animal crackers! Monkey Snacks Cut a banana in half (or thirds). Push it onto a popsicle stick and dip it into melted chocolate. Freeze it. Have your child pretend to be a monkey as he/she eats their monkey snacks!

Zoo by Gail Gibbons 1, 2, 3, to the Zoo by Eric Carle Peek-a-Zoo! By Marie Torres Cimarusti Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell I Love My Mama by Peter Kavanagh Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert Zoo-Looking by Mem Fox Does a Kangaroo have a Mother Too? By Eric Carle Z is for Zookeeper by Marie and Roland Smith Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo by Karma Wilson If Anything Ever Goes Wrong at the Zoo by Mary Jean Hendrick Zany Zoo by William Wise Welcome to the Zoo! By Alison Jay Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett Curious George Visits the Zoo by H.A. Rey Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

Songs & Finger plays
Zoo Chant I’m going to the zoo, zoo, zoo. How about you, you, you? We’re gonna see a (Child’s name) At the zoo, zoo, zoo! Keeper in the Zoo (Tune: The Farmer in the Dell) The keeper in the zoo, The keeper in the zoo, Heigh-ho! The derry-o! The keeper in the zoo. The keeper feeds the (bears). The keeper feeds the (bears). Heigh-ho! The derry-o! The keeper feeds the (bears). Continue with monkeys, alligators, birds, etc. I Know a Giraffe (Tune: On Top of Old Smokey) I know a giraffe With a neck that’s real high. She stretches and stretches Till she reaches the sky. She lives on the plains With the elephants too. You might also see her When you go to the zoo.

The Animals at the Zoo (Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)

The snake at the zoo goes Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss Hiss The snake at the zoo goes Hiss Hiss Hiss All day long. Lion – Roar, roar, roar Monkey – Eee, eee, eee Hyenas – Ha, ha, ha Underneath the Monkey Tree (Tune: The Muffin Man) Come and play a while with me, Underneath the monkey tree. Monkey see and monkey do. Just like monkeys in the zoo. Swing your tail, one, two, three, Underneath the monkey tree. Monkey see and monkey do. Just like monkeys in the zoo. Jump around and smile like me, Underneath the monkey tree. Monkey see and monkey do. Just like monkeys in the zoo. Elephant Poem An elephant goes like this and that (Walk heavily and stomp feet) He’s terribly big and terribly fat (Puff up cheeks and extend arms wide) He has no fingers. He has no toes. (Wiggle fingers and toes) But goodness, gracious! What a nose! (Make a trunk with arms) I’m A Little Zebra (Tune: I’m a Little Tea Pot)

I’m a little zebra, White and black, Great big stripes Run across my back. I like to gallop And graze and play Out on the African plains all day.

Circle Snake Start with a circle cut out of yellow cardstock or even a paper plate. Stamp with white paint to create snake’s spots. Cut into spiral shape after paint has dried. Add google eyes and tongue to the snake’s head. Circle Monkeys Use different shapes of circles to create a monkey. You will need: • 1 large brown circle for monkey’s body • 1 medium sized brown circle for monkey’s head • 1 medium sized tan circle for monkey’s belly • 6 small brown circles for monkey’s paws and ears. • 1 small tan circle for monkey’s face. • 1 tiny brown circle for monkey’s nose. • 1 long brown tail. • Google eyes Flannel Board Circle Creatures For each of the creatures below, cut out felt circles as suggested. Let your child put the circles for each game together on a flannel board. • Snow kid – Cut out 2 sizes of circles from white felt for a body and head. Cut smaller circles out of black felt for facial features and buttons. • Pizza – Cut a large circle out of orange felt for a cheesy pizza. Cut out smaller red circles for pepperoni, black circles for olives, brown circles for sausage, and green circles for peppers. • Cookies – Using brown felt, cut out a large circle for a cookie. Cut smaller circles out of bright colored felt for candy. Snack Ideas Ritz crackers, grapes, cherries, olives, banana slices, carrot slices, English muffins, pizza, pepperoni, tortillas, round sugar cookies, and lunch meat slices.

Circle Art

Stamp a pencil eraser in paint to make a dot picture. You could also use a cork or something else circular. (This would be a fun way to make spots on a giraffe!) Hula Hoop Fun Place a hula-hoop flat on the floor. Invite your children to try activities such as these: • Walk, crawl, or tiptoe around the hoop. • Toss beanbags inside the hoop. You could also sing this song while holding hands and walking around the hula-hoop: Let’s go round the hula-hoop, Hula-hoop, hula-hoop. Let’s go round the hula-hoop, Round the circle. Round and round and round we go, Round we go, round we go. Round and round and round we go, Round the circle.

Number Pattern Print the attached 6 number pattern. Attach 6 zoo stickers of 6 animal cut-outs. Card Search Search for the six’s in a deck of cards. Songs “Sing a Song of Sixpence” “Six Little Ducks” Egg Hunt Count out 6 holes from an egg carton. Send child on a brief Easter egg hunt, challenging them to fill up their 6 holes with eggs. You could place small animals inside the eggs, or of course a treat! Animal Sticker Book Staple together 6 sheets of paper. Write the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on each page. Ask child to place appropriate number of stickers on each page. (You could also draw animals, too.) Muffin-Tin Counting If you have a 6-hole muffin tin, this is great for studying the number six! Set out some pompoms. Count pompoms as you place them inside the holes. (Older children could try doing this while using tongs.) Six-Piece Puzzle Print out the attached 6-piece tiger puzzle. Or cut up your own animal pictures into 6 pieces. Practice putting them together! Six-Petaled Flowers Cut out one large circle as the center of the flower and several smaller circles as the petals. Let your child count out 6 petals and glue them on to the flower. Add green pipe cleaner or green paper as a stem.

Writing Rhyme While practicing writing the number six, say this rhyme to help form the numeral: Roller coaster curving down, Hits the bottom, then loops around. Tactile Learning Cut the numeral 6 out of sand paper. Have child trace with his/her finger. You could also do a rubbing of the numeral by placing paper on the top and coloring over it. (I do this every week because Little Man loves it!) Number Shapes Use cooked spaghetti or pipe cleaners to create the shape of the numeral 6. Circle Sixes Write a large numeral 6 on a piece of paper. Ask child to cover the 6 with circle stickers. Six Snacks Serve child 6 crackers with 6 pieces of cheese! Practice counting before eating of course.

Z is for Zebra Use the attached Z template to create your own zebra using the letter Z. You could use black electrical tape to create stripes across the “Z”. You could also cut out black stripes or color them. Add a face and tail! “Z” Art Cut a Z shape out of paper and paint it using a Z tool: * Stamp a zipper in paint and paint the Z. * Paint it in a zig-zag shape. Z exercises Run in a zig-zag shape. Make Your Own Z flashcards Use the attached Z coloring page to color the 4 pictures, cut them apart, and use them as your very own flashcards. Review daily. Z songs Practice the sound of the letter Z by singing: “Zipe-a-dee-do-dah” “Zippity Zoo” – Frog Street Press Z is for… Coloring pages Use the attached “Z is for…” coloring pages to practice writing and tracing Z’s. Z Creative Writing I like to practice writing in finger paint, shaving cream, sand, or using Crayola’s window crayons. Sidewalk chalk is fun, too, once the weather warms up!

Print and cut out the elephants. Laminate if desired. Arrange them in order from smallest to biggest.

Who’s the biggest?

Print and cut out the giraffes. Laminate if desired. Arrange them in order from shortest to tallest.

Who’s the tallest?

Five Little Monkeys
Directions: Print attached visual aids on cardstock. Cut out and laminate if desired. Mount with flannel backing to use on flannel board. Use the visual aids to act out the song/story of the Five Little Monkeys. Have fun!

5 Little Monkeys Visual Aids

Don’t Feed the Animals!
Directions: Play this game just like “Don’t Eat Pete.” Print and laminate the animal game board. Cover each animal with an M&M, a marshmallow, or something small to eat. One person is chosen to be “it” and leaves the room. The remaining members of the group secretly decide upon one of the animals on the board. When the person chosen to be “it” returns, he/she starts to eat the M&M covering each animal. He/she continues slowly until reaching the animal decided upon by the group. Just as he/she is about to eat the M&M covering the chosen animal, the group yells, “Don’t feed the animals!”

Don’t Feed the Animals!

Zoo Cards
Print cards on cardstock and cut out. Laminate if desired. Use these cards to play memory or match. You can also use them for patterning or vocabulary cards. You can also draw a card and practice acting out that animal, playing “Zoo Charades.”

Rumble in the Jungle
Directions Activity to be used with the book Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae. Print animal pages. You can introduce and read the book at the beginning of the unit, and color one animal page each day. Practice the poems and discuss the different animals. At the end of the unit, you could combine all of the pages to make your very own “Rumble in the Jungle” book.

6-Piece Puzzle
Print on cardstock. Cut apart into 6 squares, and practice putting together the animal.

Make Your Own Z Book!
Color each of the 4 squares. Then, cut apart and staple them together to create your own flashcards or Z Book.

Sally the Camel
Sally the camel has 6 humps. Sally the camel has 6 humps. Sally the camel has 6 humps. So ride, Sally, ride! Boom, boom, boom. Continue counting down with remaining verses: *5 humps *4 humps *3 humps *2 humps *1 hump Sally the camel has no humps. Sally the camel has no humps. Sally the camel has no humps. Because Sally is a horse, of course!

Number 6 Pattern
Print the number 6 pattern. Cover with 6 zoo stickers or draw 6

animals on it. This is a great way to tie the numeral six with counting to six.

Z is for Zebra Pattern

Print this pattern on white cardstock or trace onto white foam. Help child decorate the Z to look like a zebra. You could use black electrical tape to create stripes across the “Z”. You could also cut out black stripes or color them. Add a face and tail!

You can find more fun learning ideas here: Everything Preschool The Preschool Professor Little Learners Lounge Hummingbird Preschool Education Perpetual Preschool Lesson Sense Positively Splendid Preschool Express 2 Teaching Mommies All clip art and/or fonts comes from Used with permission of DJ Inkers.