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.
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.
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:
- match the x-rays to their pictures or even animal miniatures
- attempt to make your own x-rays with tracing paper or cellophane and paint
- use the exploration as a jump off to researching more about one particular animal
- attempt to build your own skeletal structures with toothpicks or q-tips
- explore Montessori animal puzzles
- explore Montessori animal 3-part cards
- build homemade play dough or clay representations of the animals
How would you explore these animal x-rays with your children?
And, then, check out these awesome Zoology posts from our fellow Montessori Bloggers: