Body coverings of animals are a fascinating topic for young children. Moreover, this is an important concept that will help children understand an animal’s ability to survive in its habitat. A creative teaching resource that uses the traditional Mother Goose Rhyme of Mary and Her Little Lamb is a great way to introduce this concept.
Fur, Fleece, and Wool Coverings of Animals
A common covering that children will know is animals that have fur, fleece, or wool. In the traditional rhyme, Mary has a little lamb whose fleece is white as snow. “Fleece” is most likely not a common word for your students. Children are probably more familiar with the terms: “wool” or “fur”. Similarly, they may not understand that these materials are the same as hair. Having different examples of these elements will be very helpful. In addition, providing opportunities to touch and feel actual wool, animal fur, and hair will allow students to compare and contrast this type of animal covering.
Scales on Animals
In the lyrics to Mary Learns About Animal Coverings, Mary sees two snakes. The scales on the underside of snakes help them to move along the ground without legs. Scales also protect the animal. Scales can be hard and provide the animal with a hard coat or shield around them. Fish scales make a slime that is slippery and will allow the fish to escape enemies. Scales also protect animals from germs and diseases.
Feathers on Animals
The third type of animal covering is feathers. Finally, in the rhyme, Mary sees three birds. Birds have feathers and feathers do a few different things. Feathers keep birds up as they fly through the air.
Some birds do not fly, however. The feathers on these birds can help them to stay warm. Feathers can also keep an animal dry when they swim. Feathers also camouflage some animals and allow them to hide from their predators.
In conclusion, there are great resources to help students to learn about the body coverings of animals. For example, these are available from the Miacademy Learning Channel, and from the resources below.
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