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Kindergarten students are learning about the world’s habitats, also called biomes, and the animals that live in them. After studying various environments such as oceans, deserts, and tropical rainforests, each student chose a favorite habitat as well as a favorite animal from that habitat. Students drew detailed pictures of their biomes and became experts on their chosen animals, discovering and writing about what they look like, what they eat, and how they change as they grow.

To understand how animals survive in their environments, students learned about structural adaptations, which are unique body parts or coverings — teeth, hair, ears, noses, tails, camouflage, etc. With the help of some Middle School friends, they created posters to describe these adaptations. Students then imagined themselves as their chosen animals and created accessories for their own bodies — basically trying their animals on for size.

Students were now ready to make 3D models of habitats from their detailed drawings, trying to include as much information as possible. For their final step, each of our animal experts was given a potato they could enhance to look like their chosen animal, including three adaptations needed to survive in their habitat. To celebrate all they learned, students visited the Hogle Zoo and observed their favorite animals as living creatures!

Students were thoroughly engaged in this extended animal project, which combined multiple areas of study and a variety of mediums. The experience has been meaningful for these young learners, giving them a greater appreciation for living things and their importance in our world.