Are walruses one of the creatures that you plan on incorporating into your lesson plans this year? Have you already thought of a list of age appropriate activities yet? If not, you may want to think about using one of the following ideas:
Geography and Science
I would suggest starting your walrus unit with a discussion about where the creatures live. One way to do that is to purchase an inflatable globe and walrus stickers. Next, use the stickers to mark the locations of where walruses are typically found. You’ll also want to mark those same locations on a wall map with push pins. Then toss the globe to the children and have each one find a sticker location. You could point out those locations on the wall map and talk a little bit about each one.
From there, you could launch into a discussion about what walruses look like and how their bodies are designed to help them thrive in various locations (i.e. blubber, tusks, skin, whiskers and flippers). There is a color diagram of the walrus that lists its basic body parts posted on the Exploring Nature website. You could use it a visual aid. There is also a worksheet titled “Meet a Walrus” available through the Time for Kids website that you could hand out after your lecture. It is designed to help familiarize the children with the creature’s anatomy.
Once you’ve explained what the walrus looks like, you may want to talk about its diet and how it eats. To get the discussion going, you could hand the children a clam shell and ask them how they would try and eat it if they were walruses.
Language Arts, Puppetry and Music
Afterward, let the children practice writing the upper and lower case letter “W” as well as the word “walrus.” You may also want to let them cover a letter “W” or walrus coloring page with torn pieces of brown tissue paper to represent the animal’s wrinkly skin.
While the art supplies are handy, print out a piece of walrus clip art and glue it to cardstock. Then use a pair of scissors to make two finger holes near the base of the creature’s body. Next, let the kids color the walrus and use it while completing the “I Wish I Were a Walrus” finger play exercise.
You may want to let them make a paper bag walrus puppet too. They could use the puppets later on in the day during a dramatic play session. You can find a template for the paper bag puppet posted on the First School WS website. If you do decide to go that route, don’t forget to play a nature sounds CD in the background. You can typically find audio files of walrus sounds on such websites as Sound Board and Artists Direct.
Math and Sequencing
Continue by letting the children play a homemade walrus board game. There is a walrus themed game board available through the Tools for Education website. You’ll also want pick up a set of dice and a bag of small clam shells from the local craft store. The kids can use the clam shells as place markers. To play the game, let the kids roll the dice. Then have them move their clam shells around the game board accordingly.
Lastly, you may want to have the children complete a few counting worksheets. For example, you could remind the children that walruses eat crabs too. Then you could ask the kids to complete the “Counting Animals: Crabs” worksheet posted on the Education website. You could also give the children brown ink pads and have them make walruses with their fingerprints to match assorted numerals on a homemade worksheet.
Source: Personal Experience
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