Materials List: magazines with animal pictures that will be used for
cutting, scissors, stapler, 1 piece of construction paper per a student,
Internet access, Animal Characteristics BLM
Teacher Note: This activity may take two 45 minute class periods.
Students will need to assemble pictures from magazines, books, Internet
sites and other sources of different types of animals, including
insects. Direct students’ attention to the various structures of these
animals and explain to students that animals with a skeleton either have
one outside the body (exoskeleton) or inside the body (endoskeleton).
Ask students if they can think of an animal that has an outside skeleton
(insects, crawfish, shrimp, turtle) and one that has an inside skeleton
(humans, birds, other mammals). Both types provide protection.
Discuss other structures of the animals in the pictures (include
beaks, claws, teeth, appendages, ears, etc.) that help them to
survive in their habitat. Ask students to explain the function of
the body structures.
Discuss common traits of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects,
amphibians, and arthropods. Using the same pictures, instruct
students to sort them into these categories: mammals, birds,
reptiles, insects, amphibians, and arthropods; and then have
students create a flip-book about these animals like the example
First give each student three pieces of plain paper. Next, have
them place the sheets of paper on top of each other leaving a
one-inch margin showing at the bottom of each page.
Direct the students to fold the sheets over to create a step
booklet. The teacher should then staple the paper along the fold
onto a piece of construction paper.
Have the students write the following words on the stacked pages and
draw or glue an example of that animal. Then, read the
characteristics of each animal and have them point in their flip
book to which animal it belongs.
Mammals – have fur
or hair, use lungs to breathe, give birth to live young, and
feed its young with milk
Reptiles – covered
with scales, lay eggs on land and breathe with lungs,
Amphibians – begin
life in the water and move onto land as adults; lay eggs in
Insects – a major
group of arthropods and have segmented body parts (head, thorax,
abdomen) supported by an exoskeleton
– include insects, crustaceans; have segmented body parts with
appendages on each segment; all arthropods are covered by a hard
Birds – have
feathers, two legs, and wings
The students should then write the characteristics about each animal
in their flip book using the Animal Characteristics BLM.
Using their flip-books, students should then
compare various groups of organisms such as mammals and amphibians,
insects and arthropods, etc. in their science learning log (view
literacy strategy descriptions).
Allow time for discussions of classifications and why the
animals were placed in the chosen categories.
Example of science
learning log entry:
Again, have students identify and classify animals as those that
have an outside skeleton (exoskeleton) and those that have an inside
Outside skeleton- insects,
spiders, crawfish, shrimp
Inside skeleton – humans,
Listed below are several
trade books that could be included in this lesson:
Amazing Pull-Out Pop-Up
Body in a Book by David Hawcock- Using this hands-on book, children
can explore the lungs, heart, skeleton, and brain.
The Children’s Book of
the Body by Anna Sandman - Breathing, eating, senses, bones, the
brain, blood, and skin are presented through entertaining projects.
What’s Inside? My Body
by Angela Royston -The outside and inside of various body parts are
depicted in facing pages through illustrations, photographs, and simple
Animal Classification Game
Classification of Animals
Kids Korner Animal Games