Celebrations Programs Chapter
Wild and Wooly Animal Adventures
Alternative Titles for Program
- Wild Outdoors Animal Adventures
- Wide Wild World of Crawling Creatures
- Wildlife Mania
- Paws, Claws, Wings, and Things Jamboree
Books to Share
- All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir by Bill Staines.
- Each Living Thing by Joanne Ryder.
- The Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub
- Zoodles by Bernard Most.
Books to Show and Booktalk
- Animal Rescuers: A Chapter Book by Rosanna Hansen.
- My Chimp Friday: The Nana Banana Chronicles by Hester Mundis.
- 101 Nutty Nature Jokes by Melvin Berger.
Who’s Been Here?
Display animal footprints along with pictures or photos of the animals that made them. Patterns for some animal footprints are provided (bear, deer and raccoon track). Cut animal photos from discarded magazines, print animal illustrations from a computer program such as Printshop, or have children draw pictures of animals. You may want to make a big tree out of green and brown construction paper and add the caption, “Where are They?” on the bulletin board. Write call numbers on the trunk of the tree for books about the animals displayed.
Exhibit anything associated with insects: wax comb, paper comb, photos, puppets, preserved insects, ant farm, or an observation hive. To find some of these items, contact a college entomology department, exterminator, or a beekeeper.
Variation: "Where Do You Live?" Collect and display examples of animal homes such as bird nests, paper wasp nests, birdhouses, and wax combs from honeybees, etc. If you can’t find real examples, display photos and pictures of animal homes.
Place stuffed animals and animal puppets with books in their laps on tables and shelves. Make trees to decorate the tops of bookshelves or the refreshment table. Make the trunk of the trees out of paper towel rolls painted brown. Cut two rough circles from pieces of green paper to make the top of the tree. Attach the two pieces of green paper together by cutting a slit in each piece. Slip the two pieces together through the slits perpendicular to each other. Attach to the trunk.
Serve animal cookies with any kind of juice. Make a sign labeling the drink to be “wild jungle juice.” To add to the ambiance, decorate the table with strips of green fabric or tissue paper to give the feeling of grass.
Give children a feather to take home. Hobby stores carry bags of natural colored feathers.
Costumes and Props
Dress up like a bird watcher by wearing jeans, hiking boots, and an outdoor vest with lots of pockets. Top off your outfit with a rimmed hat, and wear binoculars around your neck. Put items like a birdcall, bones, feathers, magnifying glass, or a box of bugs in your pockets and pull them out to show as you talk about the program.
Here is the Beehive
Here is the beehive. (Make a fist)
Where are the bees? (Look from side to side)
Hidden away, where nobody sees. (Cover your eyes)
Soon they’ll come flying out of their hive. (Spread your arms)
1,2,3,4,5! Buzzzzzzz! (Open fingers as you count)
Sing “Little White Duck.” Lyrics and melody are available on the NIEHS Kids' Pages Web site at www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/littlewhite.htm. This popular song has been recorded by Burl Ives, Danny Kaye, and Raffi and is available in a book with illustrations by Joan Paley.
Dance and Movement Songs
Play “Flight of the Bumblebee” on Rachmaninoff Plays Rachmaninoff by Sergei Rachmaninoff to encourage creative movement as the children fly and buzz around the room.
“Las Hormiguitas” on José-Luis Orozco Canta De Colores by José-Luis Orozco is a wonderful movement song that is easy to learn. As the children march around the room, be sure to march “up” and “down.” If you’d like, have the children make ant stick puppets to “march” while singing the song. See the 2004 Texas Reading Club manual at www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/projects/trc/ 2004/manual/internal_chapters/images/patterns/P_Pattern_Ant.jpg for an ant pattern.
Alligator, Alligator, Turn Around
(Substitute any animal you’d like to use in this rhyme. Invite the children to join you in performing all of the actions. A puppet adds interest to the movement.)
Alligator, alligator, turn around.
Alligator, alligator, touch the ground.
Alligator, alligator, dance on your toes.
Alligator, alligator, touch your nose.
Alligator, alligator, jump up now.
Alligator, alligator, take a bow.
Alligator, alligator, stomp your feet.
Alligator, alligator, take a seat.
Sounds of Texas Birds by Robert Benson and Karen Benson.
Play this CD during your program to create an outdoor environment.
Tell folktales about why animals came to be the way they are. There are many stories available. Try “Why Possum’s Tale is Bare” in How Rabbit Tricked Otter by Gayle Ross or “How the Leopard Got His Spots,” in Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. Tell the true animal stories of “Buster” and “Dumb-Dumb” from Real Animal Heroes: True Stories of Courage, Devotion, and Sacrifice, edited by Paul Drew Stevens.
- Paper lunch bags
- Construction paper scraps
- Collage materials (yarn, ribbon, cotton balls, Q-tips, feathers, etc.)
- Glue, stapler, or tape
Invite the children to create their own animal puppets using a paper bag and a variety of materials. Bring out the collage materials and encourage creativity! A lid from a paper box makes a great container for the collage supplies. Let the children design their puppets and attach the materials to the paper bags. Don’t make a sample ahead of time or many of the puppets will end up looking similar. You may want to demonstrate a few paper techniques, such as creating accordion folds or curling paper strips or ribbon with scissors.
- Yellow paper
- Black markers
- White tissue paper
Cut yellow paper in strips 1 1/2 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches long. Have children draw stripes horizontally on the yellow strips. Then form a tube with the paper and tape to hold. Cut out tissue paper wings from the white tissue paper and glue them to the top of the paper tube. You have an instant bee!
- Air-dry clay, Play-doh®, or Model Magic®
- Squares of corrugated cardboard
Air-drying clays are available from many art supply stores, including Dick Blick Art Materials. Give children a chunk of clay, Play-doh® or Model Magic® to create their own wild animals. Bring some examples of wild animals such as plastic toys, pictures, etc., but encourage the kids to create new animals, as well. Provide children with a piece of corrugated cardboard for easy transport of their creation.
Games and Activities
What’s That Sound?
Play some of the sounds on The Definitive Encyclopedia of Sound Effects and see if the children can guess what they are. This CD includes many different animal sounds.
Wild Animal Hunt
Make wild animal cards using the animal patterns here (page 1, page 2, page 3). Glue the animal pictures onto cardstock or index cards. Hide the animal cards around the room. When a child finds an animal picture, they need to make the sound of that animal and move like that animal to a designated spot. The children continue looking for other cards until all are found. Variation: Make two matching cards for each animal. When the cards are found, the children need to find the person with the matching animal. Reward the matching pairs with animal stickers or other animal trinkets.
Have the kids write a nature haiku individually and/or as a group. The structure of a haiku requires that the first line have 5 syllables, the second line have 7 syllables, and the last line have 5 syllables. To write one as a group, the children each write words on individual slips of paper. They then choose their favorite 17 words and arrange them into a haiku. The results will amaze them! Post the completed haiku on a bulletin board, library Web site, or compile them into a booklet. Here is an example:
Bird lands on my lawn
Gathers twigs and blades of grass,
Proudly builds her nest.
Contact a local garden club, extension office, or environmental organization such as Ecology Action to find a person who will present a demonstration on making a worm composter.
Invite a beekeeper to talk about honeybees and beekeeping.
Invite a local naturalist to talk about animal identification and behavior.
Invite a 4-H group, 4-H student, or local farmer to bring an animal to the library and talk about how to care for and raise it. The Southwest Dairy Farmer’s offer a fantastic free program with their Mobile Dairy Classroom, but book early! Visit the Southwest Dairy Farmers Web site at www.southwestdairyfarmers.com/classroom.html for details.
If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use.
- Banjo Frog. (5 minutes)
- In the Small, Small Pond. (5 minutes)
- Land Snails and Their Life Cycle. (12 minutes)
- Waiting for Wings. (7 minutes)
- Form Wild: Birds, Insects, African Animals.
- The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals.
- Animal Cams!
- http://school.discovery.com/schooladventures/ animalcams/
Links to live cameras in zoos, aquariums, and animal shelters feature ant farms, penguins, bats, sharks, and more.
- Beekeeping: The Beekeeper’s Home Page
Designed for both children and adults, this site describes beekeeping, honey, and honeybees in pictures and words.
- Kids Go Wild
Learn about all aspects of animals and wildlife conservation through this site, sponsored by The Wildlife Conservation Society.
- Sounds of the World’s Animals
Listen to recorded sounds of myriad animals - and learn the words for those sounds in many languages.