Zoology Science Activities for Kids

Our post today is inspired by a new middle grade children's book, Zoology for Kids: Understanding and Working with Animals, with 21 Activities (For Kids series) by Josh Hestermann and Bethanie Hestermann with a foreword by The Kratt Brothers. The book is so awesome I want to share it by giving away a copy.  See below for details on how you can enter to win a paperback copy of this book.

 

Josh Hestermann is a zoologist/zookeeper and his wife, Bethanie Hestermann, is a writer. Together they explain what zoology is (the study of animals) and what an animal is, and then give a lively introduction to the science of zoology. The second part describes common career options for people who want to work with animals. Sprinkled throughout are hands-on activities for middle-grade-aged children, such as baking a model of an animal cell, playing a dolphin echolocation game, eating a bat fruit salad, and planning an animal's exhibit for a zoo. See our sister blog, Wrapped in Foil, for a full review.

Related Activity:  Making Animal Books

Gather:

  • Photographs of animals (from old magazines, the Internet, take photographs at your local zoo, or see these public domain line drawings)
  • Spiral notebook or binder with 3-hole paper (or an artist's sketch book)
  • Crayons, markers and colored pencils
  • Glue stick or tape

Version 1. Animal Alphabet Book for the Youngest Set

Create a page for each letter of the alphabet. Try to find an animal or animals whose name starts with each letter. Don't forget that fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates are also animals.

Glue or tape the pictures on the page. Draw the letters and add the animal's name.

For older children, have them add information about the animals, such as what they eat and where they live, maps, etc. Encourage them to draw pictures as well as write the text.

Examples:

anteater-page-1zebra page

Looking for an animal with a name that starts with X? Suggestions:

  • Ground squirrels in the genus Xerus
  • X-ray tetra fish
  • Swordfish in the genus Xiphias
  • Xantus's hummingbird

zoo-visayan-warty-pig

Did you take a picture at the zoo and now can't remember what kind of animal it is?

Hint:  Try an Internet image search to see if you can find matches. Just be careful to look for reputable sources.

Another hint:  If you go on a trip to the zoo to take photographs, take a few photographs of the signs as well. This will help you remember which animal is which and also gives you more information to talk about when you get home.

zoo-sign

Turns out this one can be used for the letter V!

Version 2: Animal Phyla (For older children)

For older children, consider exploring the phyla that make up the Kingdom Animalia by making a scrapbook or presentation. See our previous post for details (because it got too long to be included here).

Related:

Extensive interview with a Zoo Docent here at Growing With Science

Zoology for Kids website

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GIVEAWAY

Would you like to try to win a copy of Zoology for Kids? Simply sign into Rafflecopter (U.S. mailing addresses only, please). It will ask you to leave a comment on this blog post and/or like our FaceBook page by March 14, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. A single winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter and I will notify the winner via e-mail.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (March 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1613749619
ISBN-13: 978-1613749616

Disclosures: The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click through the linked titles or ads and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Proceeds will be used to maintain this self-hosted blog.

 

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Zoology Science Activities for Kids

  1. Becky

    How do you find such great books? The activities make learning a real hands-on experience.

  2. Post author

    Becky,

    Thanks for stopping by. The activities in this book will be perfect for when the kids are indoors on a snow day or looking for an activity to do.

  3. I really like the idea of the animal alphabet books. I often take photos of the signs at zoos, I find it frustrating when zoos or aquariums don't have everything identified- I want to know all about each creature! Looks like a fun book.

  4. Post author

    Sarah,

    You make a good point about zoo signs. I've heard there's a perception that people don't read the signs, but I know I do.

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