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Sunnyside Child Care

I chose the theme of zoo animals to study with preschool because it is a fun theme that is
developmentally appropriate for the age group and will enhance and build the child’s knowledge of basic
zoo animals. At this age, children are fascinated with animals; therefore it is appropriate for them to
build their understanding of them through various ways, either through child-directed play or adult-
directed play.
At this age, children have wild imaginations and can act out many different scenarios. I have often seen
children portray animals during dramatic play. With a zoo theme;
children will be able to act out different zoo animal personas with
better understanding of the animals as they learn more about them.
This could include how the animals behave and socialize, what they eat,
and where the live.
Other activities for children to partake in to enhance their experience
and learning of zoo animals are sensory tables. Sand and water tables
can be used and then the appropriate animals can be placed in the
vicinity of the tables for children to manipulate and use. For example,
for the sand table, we may add animals that live in the desert, like
camels. For the water table (Howard Gardner’s visual/spatial and
existential intelligence), I would include underwater animals for the
children to play with like dolphins, whales, and sharks. Furthermore,
the children can also learn through music and movements by singing
about the zoo, and naming off what animals they are going to see (Howard Gardner’s musical/rhythmic
and body/kinesiology intelligence)! In the science area, there will be different items from habitats
available, animal fur and shedded skin (malts), and different parts of animal’s diets for children to study
and analyze, such as bird’s nests, snake malts, dirt, rocks, pine needles, leaves, etc. (Howard Garner’s
naturalist intelligence). All the activities planned will support Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences by
allowing the activities to incorporate many different concepts of Howard Gardner’s Multiple
Intelligences into the activities. The activities will also provide integrated learning. For example, for the
emotional elephants activity planned for the social studies section can also be used for math. Children
will not only learn about the emotions and the facial expressions to match them, they can also count how
many different emotions there are as well as graph the classes favorite emotion, and least favorite
emotion. Along with math, language could also play a role by learning how to spell the different emotions,
as well as sound them out and pronounce them.
Overall, this theme will not only provide children with basic knowledge of zoo animals and build on Howard
Gardner’s multiple intelligences; it will also entertain the kids and allow them to have fun through
learning. This theme is something they can relate to as many children are very fond of animals and find
fun in learning and portraying them.