Whether you already teach about Nocturnal Animals or you’re just thinking about covering it this year, I’m here to save you some planning & prep time on a unit your kids will love!! In this one post, you’ll find tons of creative ideas and resources for an awesome & engaging unit! (PS. Be sure to pin it so you can find it later & share with your teacher-friends!)
Let’s face it…kids love learning about animals! It’s something they are naturally curious about…so, any time we can take their excitement for animals and use it to incorporate learning about science, geography, (and improve their reading skills!), it’s a big win-win! Another benefit to our students when it comes to learning about animals is that they will further develop a deeper sense of empathy and compassion, which of course, has infinite benefits, both for the classroom and for life itself.
• models fluency
• encourages high levels of understanding
• develops an understanding of story structures
• builds vocabulary
• develops connections between print elements and genres
Great as an introductory book for this unit! This beautifully illustrated book will capture your students’ interest right from page one! It contains many gorgeous pictures and lots of intriguing facts about nocturnal animals—many of which you may not have realized were ‘night animals’!
Breath-taking photographs bring the story of the South-American tree frog’s nighttime activities to life! Your students will be enthralled as they follow the ‘adorable’ tree frog through the night--as he searches for dinner and tries his best to avoid the dangers that lurk nearby!
A classic story from children’s perennial favorite Roald Dahl! (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach) Follow Mr. Fox on his nighttime adventures and learn what he (and other foxes) do what they do best—sneak around at night! A fun narrative that will capture your students’ attention as they learn about Mr. Fox’s nocturnal escapades!
Beautiful illustrations bring the story of bat and her baby to life. Follow her through the night as she looks for food—all the while the author delicately weaves in lots of scientific facts. It’s an endearing narrative about a nocturnal creature that your students will find appealing and interesting.
A sweet tale about Stellaluna (a baby bat) and what happens when she becomes separated from her mother. With beautiful illustrations, this is an incredibly touching story that teaches children about the importance of differences and similarities!
Want to improve the effectiveness of your read aloud time? Interactive read-alouds increase student engagement, increase students' understanding of the text, and provide the opportunity to model comprehension strategies, teach literacy concepts, & build vocabulary.
This fabulous Stellaluna companion resource includes a complete, easy-to-follow interactive read aloud lesson for the book. For a Balanced Literacy approach, a graphic organizer and writing prompt are also included in the
Well, if you can’t see yourself taking on the commitment of a permanent class pet, get a temporary one! Borrow a student-friendly nocturnal animal for the time period (days/weeks?) that you’re teaching the unit on nocturnal animals! (Perhaps you can borrow one from a student, another teacher, a pet store?) Consider having your reluctant readers practice reading to the pet! Here are some ideas for classroom-friendly nocturnal pets:
A sugar glider
A guinea pig
A leopard gecko
Or…Eek! A mouse!
Not quite ready for a class pet? You can have your students research a nocturnal pet they would most like to have. Then, the students can write a persuasive letter to their parents trying to convince them to get one.
Who doesn’t LOVE hands-on learning?! Here are a few of my favorite Pinterest finds to add an element of fun to our study of Nocturnal Animals.
Make Bats with Pasta!
|Click on Image to View Original Pin|
|Click on Image to View Original Pin|
Sing along to ‘The Owl Song’
Owl Babies Animated Picture Book
Nighttime Animals Part 1
Nighttime Animals Part 2
Looking for ideas for an end of the unit celebration? Plan for a day of fun with a "night-time camping" theme. Have a ‘Reading-Reward Tent’ set up for the duration of the unit. Those who exhibit the expectations that you set in advance are allowed to read in the tent!
Make some Trail Mix (nut-free of course!), the kids can snack on it as they read about adventures in the woods!
Bring a few flashlights to your classroom to double the fun! My kids loved mini brain-breaks to make shadow puppets.
I hope you’ve found this information useful in planning your upcoming unit on Nocturnal Animals! Feel free to comment below with any other ideas you have to share!
Also, so you’ll always have access to this info, please pin this post to save and share!