Bringing Nature Indoors:
Lesson Plan Ideas for the Hot Dog Days of Summer
Yes, it's hot outside. So you are looking for ways to continue nature education inside.
Let's play "Mystery Animal"
It's super simple--each child pretends to be an animal, the others guess.
Just right there you got Dramatic Play + science + some laughs.
Sounds like an easy lesson plan to me!
Dogs and cats are the most popular, so challenge the children to think of animals that are different. Maybe restrict them to:
- only wild animals
- or only animals that they have seen in real life
- or only animals that they learned about in a book that the class read together.
Add "public speaking skills" by letting each child explain to the class:
- why they chose that animal
- where they have seen that animal
- what the movements and sounds meant
"Ducks walk like this."
Gather some photos of the animals that the children chose and use those as the basis for another lesson plan.
- Discover where those animals live--maybe in a tree or in a burrow or a nest. Build homes out of cardboard or natural materials. Make the homes big for the children to play in as they learn about how to be another animal. Or make homes for real animals. Put them out in the school yard and see if that animal comes to live there. Record wildlife interactions over time.
Scientific studies has shown that rubbing a frog on your cheek does not turn you into a prince.
- Discover what those animals eat and how they eat. Do they dig in the dirt with claws? Do they poke into trees with sharp beaks? Do they eat plants or other animals? Have an animal picnic!
- Need to wear off more energy? Discover how those animals move? Do they run? Do they fly? Do they jump? Put the name and photo of each animal on a card, have a child draw it from the deck--act it out. Or play "Simon Says"--"Simon says, jump like a grasshopper! Simon says, slither like a snake!"
Is it nice enough to go outside? Then go--the beauty of this lesson is that it can be done inside or out!
Did this lesson plan spark more ideas for your students? Where did it lead them and you? Let me know and we'll feature it on facebook!