Summer is a great time to visit the zoo – and a great time for a Montessori-inspired zoo animal unit. Just follow your child’s interests in choosing the activities.
You can have a systematic study of animals starting with living/non-living; then plant/animal; animals and their groups; vertebrate/invertebrate; types of vertebrate/types of invertebrate, etc. Or you can start with a relaxed summer unit, adding classification framework as it becomes relevant to your study. (Montessori at Home shows an example of Montessori zoology classification).
Here are some great ideas for Montessori-inspired zoo animal units from around the blogosphere (especially good for preschoolers through early elementary):
Discovery Days and Montessori Moments has a wonderful zoo unit right now.
My post on Montessori Continent Boxes has links to lots of ideas for studying the animals of each continent.
Leptir has an impressive hands-on activity for sorting animals by continent.
Homeschool Escapade wrote about Animals of the World Activity using Animals of the Continents cards from Montessori Print Shop. Homeschool Escapade also wrote about Montessori Print Shop’s work on Animal Camouflage.
Sunrise Learning Lab wrote about the Animal Skin Match and Animal Tracks work from Montessori Print Shop.
My Oatmeal Kisses placed animals on continents made of playdough.
Little Wonders’ Days has posts with a zoo theme, including a zoo scavenger hunt and free 3-part zoo cards.
My Montessori Journey created a Farm Animals/Zoo Animals sorting activity.
Spell Outloud has Noctural and Diurnal Animals free printable for sorting.
David Gettman’s Basic Montessori: Learning Activities for Under-Fives has many ideas for activities classifying animals.
UPDATE: See my Montessori-Inspired Zoo Animal Unit from 2012 with more activities!
Have fun at the zoo and at home learning about zoo animals!