Zoology: Exploring X-Rays on the Light Table


It can be hard to figure out how to teach zoology to kids, especially if you’re not well versed in the animal kingdom.

The wonderful thing about Montessori Zoology is that you can distill it to a very basic core and get as creative or as detailed as you like! And to make that process easier, today I’m giving you a free printable checklist of the Basics of Montessori Zoology.

Exploring X-Rays on the Light Table: a simple Reggio provocation, plus a free printable checklist for Montessori Zoology

Right now, we are mostly focusing on animals within our DIY Continent Boxes, but we’ve gone through the basic lessons and I think we can take our time being a bit creative.

We recently ordered these Animal X-rays from Montessori Services and I set up a simple provocation on our light table. After making and loving our DIY light table for awhile, I realized that investing in a real light table was a great investment for us and I feel better knowing that there is little risk of it causing damage to their eyes with how often they like using it. (There are ways to lessen the risks with homemade light tables, as well. This light table should last for the life of our daycare and can continue to be used by Ella for art as she gets older, or we could probably resell it for a decent amount locally.)

Provocations do not need to be complicated or involve hours of design. A provocation is simply something that encourages children to explore a concept by virtue of it’s own design. The kids are attracted to working on the light table anyways, so I’ll admit anything I put on the light table has a pretty good chance of being engaged.

Untitled design (58)

What’s wonderful about these X-rays is that they come with pictures of the animals they are depicting, so really, you can put the two sets out as-is, and let the children explore… which is exactly what I did.

This provocation can end here and still be wonderfully educational – giving you the opportunity to discuss:

  • vertebrates versus invertebrates
  • how skeletal structures support animal traits
  • why some animals have different bone structures
  • similarities between animal bone structures

If you’re looking to use the x-rays as a jumping off point for further exploration , you can also:

How would you explore these animal x-rays with your children?

Exploring X-Rays on the Light Table: a simple Reggio provocation, plus a free printable checklist for Montessori Zoology


Make sure to grab your free download for our Montessori Zoology Checklist!


And, then, check out these awesome Zoology posts from our fellow Montessori Bloggers:

Natural Beach Living ~ The Natural Homeschool ~ Living Montessori Now ~ Planting Peas

The Kavanaugh Report ~ Mama’s Happy Hive ~ Sugar, Spice and Glitter ~ Child Led Life

Every Star Is Different ~ Grace and Green Pastures ~ The Pinay Homeschooler

12 months of Montessori Learning

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  1. I have wanted to buy a light table and animal x-rays for so long. They’re included on a list I have in the back of my notebook of possible Christmas gifts for the kids. All of the reasons why this activity is so great, are the exact reasons I keep these materials on my wish list! Thanks for helping me remember why light tables and x-rays are so great.

  2. Oh wow this is wonderful! I might have to finally get a light table or try to fashion one out this summer! I love how Montessori Services makes these types of resources available. Thanks for the links and the printable! I realized after downloading your printable that I had forgotten all about our Living/Nonliving presentation! LOL 🙂

  3. I love your post! We decided to invest in a light pad and a few x-rays last year and you’re right – it has been a hit! This makes me want to bring everything out and highlight it again.

  4. My kids love working with the table light every time we go to the children’s museum. I can’t wait to show them this post. Thanks for the idea!

  5. We have this animal xrays as well but I still need to get a light table for them. Thanks for sharing this, now I can’t wait to start making our DIY light table. I’m supposed to set it up this autumn because we have longer days (sun still shines till 10pm!) and I can’t let the boys stay up late. So this will work perfectly in autumn! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love the idea of studying animals x-rays on the light table! I so want to do this with Little Bee one day soon. I love your blog posts! They are always so full of really good information! 🙂

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