I think an amphibians and reptiles unit is one of the most fun science lessons with little guys because it’s so easy to become a field trip. You just load up and head to the nearest pet store and spend a long time watching the snakes and turtles climb around. A perfect field trip if studying zoology.
That is my number one suggestion for learning about reptiles and amphibians. Head down to your pet store and watch them. Watch the turtles dive into the water. Watch the snakes seem to climb the walls of their cage. Watch the frogs hide under logs and rocks. Observe. That is one of the best gifts you can give your kids the act of observation.
Start off with a fun exploration of snakes with this snake unit, try slithering like a snake and explore how they grow. Follow this up with a study of rattlesnakes which are a common feature in stories here in Texas.
Then learn about some alligators down in Florida and make a fun alligator toy. Or a very silly book about the alligators under New York.
Then start looking at turtles. Try to identify the sea turtle breeds. Then try to move like a sea turtle and watch youtube video about laying eggs.
And you have to read a few turtle books after you’ve tried the activities. Then check out my gone horribly wrong turtle craft.
We haven’t really done super a lot with amphibians for whatever reason. We find the occasional toad in our yard and my kids happily chase them, but that’s about it. We do however have a great craft on the difference between frogs and toads.
So, I’ll recommend this great frog unit from Homeschool Scientist, and this fun collection of frog crafts.
(I’m including dinosaurs because they are *technically,* according to what I’ve read, a reptile), so here’s a few dinosaur ideas:
- Danny and the Dinosaur unit
- Study a dinosaur gizzard (I suppose this post can also be in Thursday’s post: birds unit).
- Dinosaur Dig
For all of the posts in this series head on over to Zoology for Kids.
For a great series of posts written by some other awesome homeschooling Moms (including about 3 more series on science) head on over to Summer Hopscotch 2014
Almost Unschoolers says
Montana paleontologists are really pushing the “birds are dinosaurs” thing – I’m sure we’ll find eventually, that dinosaurs were all kinds of different animals (that’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it). I like the pet shop idea…much better than going out to look under rocks for snakes 🙂
Looking under rocks is a very scary idea down here, when a large percentage of the snakes and various other creatures are poisonous that we’d find.
I suspect some were related to birds, reptiles, mammals, etc. therefore some were warm blooded while others were cold blooded. There were herbivores, carnivores, and maybe even omnivores (did they discover those?). Great diversity. Whatever remained (and discovered by humans) are due to natural selection.
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
Your kids must be all kinds of animal experts. I wonder what my daughter’s third grade will be doing in science this year. At home she is only interested in chemistry, since it’s so spectacular.
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
PS. I subscribe to dinosaurs to birds theory, but you can expect it from me, right? After all, I am an evolutionist.
Rather than responding to both comments, I’m gonna be lazy and respond to them at the same time.
It’s always amusing to me what they randomly remember of our science from earlier years. I’ve been trying to work on keeping the books down where the kids can get to them and look at them, but it hasn’t happened as much as I’d like.
Even if I was an evolutionist, I’m not sure that I’d buy the bird theory. I’ve always figured they were related to some of our current reptiles genetically. I have a hard time understanding how they’d go from cold-blooded to warm-blooded, what would the intermediary stage look like? Is an intermediary stage possible.
maryanne @ mama smiles says
I love that you included dinosaurs!
All of this will be very useful when I do the Apologia animals book with my littles. Thank you!