Wild Animal Math

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Grade Level
Length of Time
1 hour

Children will learn to sort and count animal pictures after first learning a little about the animals in their kits.


Children will be able to:

- identify five wild animals

- sort the animals by type

- count the animals

Materials Needed

- pictures of five wild animals. You need at least five of each picture for each child and the teacher. They should be pictures the child can color. You can use clipart or coloring book pictures.

- A set identical to the teacher's for each child. The children's sets should be on cardstock, but do not need flannel.

- Pictures should be printed on cardstock, but not colored The teacher's set should have flannel or pellon backing and be colored. Make sure each type of animal is identical to the others in the same set-for instance, every lion should be exactly the same, even in color.

- A flannel board

- Five pieces of yarn for every child, plus a set for the teacher. The yarn should be large enough to circle five animal pictures-all the lions will go inside one piece of yarn. All the elephants will go into another, for example.

- Crayons


1. The teacher should introduce one picture of each type of animal. As she shows the animal, she asks what it is. She then asks questions about the animal: What sound does it make? Where does it live? What does it eat? The teacher should be sure she knows the answers to these questions. After discussing the animal, ask the children to pretend to be that animal. Let them get up and move around. Bring them back to their seats before introducing the next animal.

2. Place one of each type of animal on the flannel board. Make a yarn circle around each one, large enough to hold several pictures of the animals. Then hold up another animal picture. What is this? It wants to be with the other animals that are just the same. Is there another animal just like this on the flannel board? Show the children how you put it in the yarn circle with its friend.

3. Give each child a flannelled animal from the teacher's set. Call one child at a time to come up and put his animal into the correct set. Use the term set as you talk to the children so they learn the correct mathematical term.

4. When the children are finished, give each child a set of animals and yarn. Let them spread out around the room and work on the floor to make sets of matching animals with their own pictures.

5. Go around the room and help the children count the animals in each set. If they don't know how to count, let them repeat the numbers after you.

6. When a child seems restless, let him stop and color his animals.

7. Every day bring out the animals for the children to sort and count. This can be done during a unit study on animals.


Notice if the children are having fun and learning to sort. Preschoolers don't need grades, but it is important to see which children have mastered the material. If a child is bored because he already knows how to sort and count, teach him to count his sets by five, or teach him to count them in Spanish.

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