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Learning with Animals


We love animals! Animal themes and stories make learning fun and motivating. Here are activities with 20 animals that have 3 and 4 letter animal names, to focus on reading, writing, and spelling. Play with these activities or place in learning centers for practice.

1. First: word wall words of the 3 and 4 letter animals. Students may use these cards to find animals in books, use to help spell in writing activities, or match to animal manipulatives.  


2. Match the animal with it's name: use as a worksheet or laminate and use with dry erase markers or wikisticks. This activity place 5 animals per page. 


3. Find and Spell the Animal Name: Here are 2 templates that leave room to write animal names (laminate and use with dry erase markers) and match magnetc latters to the letters. One uses uppercase and the other uses lower case that you can trace as well. 


For added fun, place magnetic letters in sensory box (beas, rice, sand, etc.). Try to find the letters to match or spell words. 



4. Puzzle Matching: Match the animal with the name


5. Spell the Animal's Name: Here are 2 activities. One has the letters that a student can trace. (Laminate and use with dry erase) and the other has blank squares for the student to spell independently. 



It's so much fun playing with animals! Animal themes (farm, jungle, pets, etc.) can be applied to make most learning objectives motivating for students. Here are just a few specific ways to use animals in early childhood learning objectives: 

  • Identify Characteristics: (ie: Same / different, sorting into groups, compare / contrast)
  • Phonological Awareness and Speech: (Play with phonemes & combinations ie: Animal sounds Mmm-oooo, baaa, neigh,... combine sounds to form words: moo+n, moo+v, baa+d, baa+ck)
  • Vocabulary: (name, describe, whole-part, relationships, categories)
  • Creative Storytelling: (dramatic play pretending to be animals, telling stories with animal puppets, fiction vs. nonfiction)
  • Motor Planning (Move like animals in crabwalk, duck walk,  bear walk, yoga poses, etc.) 

Here is an example of question flashcards for facilitating conversation skills in language development. 


Have fun playing with the animals!