A colourful A3 interactive poster featuring typical animals found in and around New Zealand ponds, including: dragonfly, midges, pukeko, southern bell frog, water spider, grey duck, Australian coots, welcome swallow, longfin eel, tadpole, mayfly nymph and water snail. Cut out the pictures of the animals and place in the correct locations on the poster. Great for recognition of the different animal species, their special features and typical locations where they are found. This activity helps to develop early ideas relating to observations, habitats, ecosystems, ecological niche and animal diversity.
The poster is laminated light card.
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Overseas customers: Not delivered overseas.
Ideas and approaches
Primary Years 2–3
- Photocopy the master poster in black and white and give to students.
- Depending on the manual dexterity of the children, have them (or an adult) cut out the puzzle pieces. Having the children perform this task is preferable, since they are forced to look carefully (= observations) at the animals. Store them in a zip-top bag or similar. Place animal pieces on puzzle in a loose fashion, or use blu tack or velcro for short term mounting or glue them permanently in place.
- Simple shape recognition — 'Which one will fit in which space?' Place correctly.
- Children realistically colour in their black and white pictures using the coloured poster as a guide.
- Questions relating to observations: 1) Have you seen this animal before? Where? 2) What is the shape of its body? 3) Talk about some of its obvious body parts. 4) What colour is it? 5) Does it run, hop, waddle, fly, wriggle or 'glide'? 6) How many legs does it have, or, does it have legs at all? 7) Naming games. Which animal is which? Use Māori and English terms.
- Visit a reserve or botanical garden to spot animals in and around ponds. The best time of the year for this is summer to early autumn.
- Feed birds bread at a botanical garden or local pond and observe which species you can attract.
Primary Years 3–6
- All the above ideas, but pitched at a higher level.
- Use the interactive poster as an ignition activity for a unit on animals or living communities.
- Scientific naming. Research their scientific names.
- Pick your favourite animal and study it in depth. Study in the field. Drawings, observations, view using binoculars. Photograph, video. Listen to recorded or actual calls.
- Behaviour investigations: feeding locations, what they eat and how they get their food. What special body features do they have to allow them to obtain food?
- Do any (tiny) animals walk across the surface of the water? How do they do this?
- Keep tadpoles and frogs in captivity. (Make sure you know how to feed and care for them first.) Observe them at each stage: eggs, tadpoles, metamorphosing (with both legs and tail present), adults. What food preferences do they have? How do adults catch their food?