Use this Around the Pond preschool lesson plan to give your students more detailed information about the animals that live by the pond. Using this lesson plan, children will learn specifically about animals' homes and how they protect themselves.
Preschool Pond Animals Knowledge
This preschool pond lesson plan is the second in a series of three. Before beginning this lesson plan, students would have completed the first one in this series so that they can be familiar with pond animals and their sounds. This pond lesson plan focuses on where animals live by the pond and how they protect themselves. You may even want to review the book Down by the Pond with your students before continuing on with this lesson plan.
After reviewing the book, begin this Around the Pond preschool lesson plan by discussing where animals make their homes. You will want to discuss beaver dams, rabbit burrows and turtle shells to begin with since they will be the focus in the crafts that you will be making.
Preschool Pond Craft
Teacher prep: To begin this craft you will need to create a "pond" by covering a large piece of cardboard with blue construction paper and placing green or brown construction paper around the outskirts of the blue. The preschool pond craft listed below is based on using a piece of cardboard approximately three feet by three feet square.
- An egg carton and a variety of small sticks that are only slightly bigger than the size of an egg
- Small paper plates
- Green construction paper
- Brown socks or empty toilet paper rolls
- White construction paper
You and your students will actually be building animals' homes to put near or on the pond. To keep a variety going, you may want to have children count off 1-2-3 and assign each number a project since there are three projects altogether. Follow the instruction below to complete the projects.
To Make a Rabbit Burrow:
- Have children cut out a circle from the white construction paper. This circle should be no bigger than a quarter sized coin.
- Ask children to cut out "ears" to fit the circle that will be the rabbit's face.
- Glue the "ears" to the rabbits face.
- Children may draw features on the face.
- Using an empty toilet paper roll or a brown sock, fold the ears of the rabbit backward and glue them to the inside of the toilet paper holder or sock. It should appear as if the rabbit is peaking out of his burrow.
Place the burrow on the pond after discussing why animals live in the burrow. Children should be taught that the rabbits hide from larger animals as well as keep their babies safe in the burrow. This also keeps them warm and protects them from some of the elements.
To Make a Beaver Dam:
- Cut apart the egg carton so that each child is given one egg holder. Pass these and the equally divided sticks out to the children.
- Instruct children to glue the sticks to the egg holder so that it is covered by them, but can still sit on a flat surface with the dome shape at the top. (You will be gluing these to the pond)
- Help children to glue these to the water of the pond.
As children are gluing their beaver dams, explain that dams are actually made by beavers cutting wood with their teeth and packing the wood with mud and small sticks to fill the gaps. Children may wonder why there is no opening for the beavers to get in. Explain to children that the beavers must go underwater to get inside the dam and that the dam itself is actually partially under water. Discuss the way the beavers teeth are made for cutting wood and his tail is made for swimming and knocking down wood. Let children know that the beavers live in the dam to keep them warm and to protect them from other animals as well as the weather.
To make a Turtle in Its Shell:
- Help children to cut out a face, four feet and a tail from the green construction paper. Children can put details on the face with their crayons.
- Assist children in coloring the bottom of one of the small paper plates. This will be the top of the turtle shell. Allow the children to be creative with their colors, but make sure they know that turtles are actually the colors they are in order to camouflage themselves from larger animals.
- Show children how to glue the face, feet and tail to the paper plate so that they stick out of the sides of it.
- Glue the bottom paper plate to the top one so that the parts you normally would eat off of are facing each other. This should now look like a turtle.
- Help the children glue the turtles (or tape them) to the pond. The turtles should fill in the empty spaces and can be glued on the water of the pond or the edge of it.
When you have completed the turtle portion, be sure that children understand that turtles live in their shell as a form of protection from larger animals and the weather.
After completing these crafts, you should have a complete pond area. Discuss the different homes with the children and allow them to ask you questions about the homes and animals that live by or on the pond. Upon completion of these pond lesson plan ideas: Around the Pond preschool lesson plan, children should have a working knowledge of some of the animals that live on or by the pond and how they survive. Get creative and come up with some more ways to make homes for your pond animals!