Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.


Kindergarten - Science - Animals and Their Needs - Overview

The January science lessons will introduce children to the basic needs of animals. Comparisons between animals and plants will be covered in future lessons.

Animals will also be discussed in the History/Geography section of this month's lesson plan. Animals common to Africa will be explored.

Suggested Titles

Allen, Marjorie N. Changes. New York: Macmillan, 1991.

Bare, Colleen. To Love a Dog. New York: Putnam, 1987.

Breslow, Susan and Sally Blakemore. I Really Want a Dog. New York: Dutton, 1990.

Freedman, Russell. Hanging On: How Animals Carry Their Young. New York: Holiday House, 1977.

MacDonald, Megan. Is This A House for Hermit Crab? New York: Orchard, 1990.

McClung, Robert M. Animals That Build Their Homes. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1976.

Parnall, Peter. Winter Barn. New York: Macmillan, 1986.

Podendorf, Illa. Animal Homes. Chicago: Children's Press, 1982.

Provensen, Alice and Martin. The Year at Maple Hill Farm. New York: Macmillan, 1978.

Selsam, Millicent. All Kinds of Babies. New York: Four Winds, 1953.

Selsam, Millicent and Joyce Hunt. Keep Looking! New York: Macmillan, 1989.


Kindergarten - Science Lesson 22 - Animals and Their Needs


Recall that objects found in nature are classified as living or nonliving.

Identify four characteristics of living things.

Examine objects to determine if they are living.


Pictures cut from magazines of animal babies

Pictures of clouds and fire

A collection of objects to examine to determine if they are living

Teacher Information

In order for something to be alive, it must carry on the life processes: ingestion of food; respiration; growth; response to stimuli; elimination of wastes; reproduction; and in many cases, locomotion. Children were introduced to the concept of living and nonliving things in Science Lesson 11 (Conservation). In Lesson 11, emphasis was placed on caring for the environment in order to protect living things. Children concluded that living things require air, water, and food. In the following lesson children will further develop the concept of living things by identifying four characteristics of living things: living things can move, eat, grow, and have babies.

Students may include inanimate objects, such as the sun or fire, in their lists of living things. They may believe that movement is the prime characteristic of living things. Be sure children refer to all four of the characteristics before determining if an object is living or nonliving.


Write the words alive and live on the chalkboard. Read the two words to the children. Have them find parts of these words that are the same. Now write the term living things on the board. Point out that living comes from the word live and ask students to suggest possible reasons for calling certain things living things. Assist the children in recalling Science Lesson 11. Drawings were made of living and nonliving things. Children should recall that living things need food, air and water. Say: We know that living things need food and water to live. There are three other ways that we can tell that something is living.

Divide the class into two groups of equal size. Have one group of students imitate the sound and movement of a familiar animal (dog, cat, bird, frog). The other group must name the animal being imitated, based on the sounds and movements they hear and see. Have each group switch roles and continue the play. Say: We can tell that something is living because it moves.

Say: Living things move in many ways. Let's name some of the ways living things can move. Ask: Who can name and show the way a fish moves? (swimming) Who can name and show the way a bird moves? (flying) Who can name the way a tiger moves? (walking on all four limbs)

Show a picture of an animal baby that has been cut from a magazine. Ask: What will this animal baby grow up to be? Continue to show pictures of animal babies and have children identify what it will grow up to be. Point out that young animals grow up to look like their parents. Say: We know that living things need food and that they can move. Now we can add that


Kindergarten - Science Lesson 22 - Animals and Their Needs

living things grow and that they have babies.

(There are special names for the young of many animals. Among the more unfamiliar names of baby animals are: cygnet, for swan; elver, for eel; joey, for kangaroo; and squab, for pigeon.)

Show the pictures that have been cut from magazines of the clouds and the fire. Say: Some things look like living things. Look at the picture of the clouds. Ask: Are the clouds living? We can answer some questions about clouds to decide if they are living or not.

Copy the following chart on the chalkboard.

Is it a Living Thing?



Can it move?
Can it eat?
Can it grow?
Can it have babies?

Read each of the questions to the children. Say: These are the things we have learned that make something living. We must answer yes to each question in order to say that something is alive. Let's think about the clouds again. (Show the picture.) Ask: Can clouds move? (Yes, clouds can move. Put a check mark in the yes column.) Ask : Do clouds eat? (No, clouds do not eat. Put a check mark in the no column.) Ask: Do clouds grow? (Yes, clouds appear to grow. They change shape and size. Put a check mark in the yes column.) Ask: Do clouds have babies? (No. Put a check mark in the no column.)

Say: Look at the chart. Did we answer yes to all of the questions? Are clouds living? (Children should conclude that even though they answered yes to some of the questions, they must determine that clouds are not living because not all of the questions were answered yes.)

Erase the check marks on the chart and go through the procedure again with the picture of fire and the other objects you have collected. Help students conclude that if the answer to all the questions is Yes, then the object is a living thing.


Kindergarten - Science Lesson 23 - Animals and Their Needs


Recall the criteria to determine if something is living.

Identify the things that animals need to live (food, water, air and shelter).

Name different animal homes.


Drawing paper

Crayons or markers


Ask: How do we know if something is living? (Living things can move, eat, grow and have babies.)

Say: Today we are going to talk about animals. Ask: Are animals living things? How do we know? (Animals can move, they eat, they grow and they have babies.)

Ask: What are the things that animals need to live? (Allow children to speculate.)

Say: One of the things animals must have is a home. Ask: Why do animals need to have a home? (for protection)

Say: Listen for the names of different animal homes in this poem. When you hear the name of an animal's home, raise your hand. We will name the homes at the end of the poem.

Strange Talk

A little green frog lived under a log,

And every time he spoke,

Instead of saying, "Good morning,"

He only said, "Croak-croak."

A duck lived by the waterside,

And little did he lack,

But when we asked, "How do you do,"

He only said, "Quack-quack."

A rook lived in an elm tree,

And all the world he saw,

But when he tried to make a speech

It sounded like, "Caw-caw."

A little pig lived in a sty,

As fat as he could be,

And when he asked for dinner

He cried aloud, "Wee-wee."


Kindergarten - Science Lesson 23 - Animals and Their Needs

Three pups lived in a kennel,

And loved to make a row,

And when they meant, "May we go out?"

They said, "Bow-wow! Bow-wow!"

If all these animals talked as much

As little girls and boys,

And all of them tried to speak at once,

Wouldn't it make a noise?

L.E. Yates

Say: In the first stanza of the poem we learn about a frog. Where does the frog live? (Reread the first stanza if necessary.) Rename each of the animals in the poem and have the children identify the name of its home. Children will need assistance in understanding that a rook is a bird. They may also be unfamiliar with a pig sty.

Say: One of the things that animals need to live is a home. The other things that animals need are food, water, and air.

Say: Some animals eat other animals and some eat plants for their food. Ask: Where do you think animals get water? (They get water from rivers, ponds, lakes, rain, melted snow.)

Ask: What about air? How do animals get air? (They breathe air. Explain to the children that animals need air because it contains oxygen. If children ask how fish breathe, explain that a fish gets oxygen from the water it swims in. The fish takes in water through its mouth. The oxygen is taken from the water as it passes over the fish's gills. Then the water leaves the fish through its gill slits.)

Say: We have learned that animals need certain things to live. Who can name the things that an animal must have in order to live? (An animal must have food, water, air and a home.)

Ask: What would happen to an insect if it was kept in a covered glass jar? (It would die.) Why? (The insect would die because it could not get food or water and it would not have any air. A glass jar is not a home for an insect.)

Conclude the lesson by revisiting the poem. Discuss the different sounds the animals make, the way each of the animals moves, and the type of food each of the animals might eat. Distribute a piece of drawing paper to each student. Tell the children to choose an animal from the poem. Draw a picture of the animal in its home.

Suggested Follow-Up

Read a book about animal homes. See Science Overview for suggestions.


Kindergarten - Science Lesson 24 - Animals and Their Needs


Recognize that animals change as they grow and develop.

Infer that animals reproduce their own kind.

Infer that most animal babies need to be cared for by their parents.


Photographs of the teacher (3 or 4) showing growth from infancy to adult

Young and Adult Animals activity sheet (attached)

Suggested Titles

Allen, Marjorie N. Changes. New York: Macmillan, 1991.

Provensen, Alice and Martin. The Year at Maple Hill Farm. New York: Macmillan, 1978.

Selsam, Millicent. All Kinds of Babies. New York: Four Winds, 1953.

Teacher Information

In this lesson children will learn that the offspring of many animals have a form similar to the adult but in miniature. However, some animals, such as butterflies and frogs go through a complete metamorphosis from the young to the adult stages of their life cycles. The forms and structures of these animals go through such drastic changes that it is sometimes difficult to identify the adult stage by observing the young.


Read a book to the children that shows how animals grow. The above titles are all excellent choices.

Talk about the way the animals in the book you have read are like their parents. Discuss how the young animals look like the adult animal. Ask questions such as: How do they look alike? In what ways are they the same? In what ways are they different?

Lead children in a discussion about the care of the young animals. Children should infer that most animal babies need to be cared for by their parents. Discuss how this is also true for human babies. Note that human babies look like their parents and require a great deal of care as they grow. Discuss how the children are different from how they were as babies.

Share with the children the pictures of yourself from infancy to adulthood. Allow the children to sequence your pictures to show how you have grown and changed. Be sure to include a current photo of yourself.

Tell children to bring in baby pictures of themselves. When pictures are brought in, mount them on a bulletin board and allow the class to guess whose baby picture is whose.

Children should complete the attached worksheet. They will color the pictures of the animals and then draw lines to match.


Kindergarten - Science Lesson 24 - Animals and Their Needs

Name ___________________________________________________

Young and Adult Animals

Color the pictures of the animals. Draw lines to match the young animal to how it will look when it is an adult.



Kindergarten - Science Lesson 25 - Animals and Their Needs


Infer that pets have special needs and must be cared for by their owners.

Gain understanding of the phrase A dog is man's best friend.

Suggested Titles

Bare, Colleen. To Love a Dog. New York: Putnam, 1987.

Barracca, Debra & Sal. The Adventures of Taxi Dog. New York: Dial, 1990.

Baynes, Pauline. How Dog Began. New York: Holt, 1985.

Breslow, Susan and Sally Blakemore. I Really Want a Dog. New York: Dutton, 1990.

Brown, Ruth. Our Puppy's Vacation. New York: Dutton, 1987.

Day, Alexandra. Carl Goes Shopping. New York: Farrar, 1989.

Graham, Amanda. Always Arthur. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1990.

Griffith, Helen V. Mine Will, Said John. New York: Greenwillow, 1980.

Hall, Donald. I am the Dog, I am the Cat. New York: Dial, 1994.

Hall, Lynn. Barry, The Bravest Saint Bernard. Champaign, IL: Garrard Publishing, 1973.

Khalsa, Dayal Kaur. I Want a Dog. New York: Crown, 1988.

Spooner, J.B. The Story of the Little Black Dog. New York: Arcade Publishing, 1994.

Titles of books about working dogs

Arnold, Caroline. A Guide Dog Puppy Grows Up. San Diego: Harcort Brace, 1991.

Epstein, Sam and Beryl. Jackpot of the Beagle Brigade. New York: Macmillan, 1987.

Foster, Joanna. Dogs Working for People. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 1972.

Gackenbach, Dick. A Bag Full of Pups. New York: Clarion, 1981.

Golder, Stephen and Lise Memling Buffy's Orange Leash. Gallaudet Press/Kendall Green, 1988.


Ask: How many of you have pets at home? Who would like to tell us about their pet? (Allow children to talk about their pets.)

Ask: Who remembers what animals need to live? (Animals need food, water, air and a home.) Ask: How does a pet get the things it needs to live? (The pet depends upon its owner to provide food and water and a home.)

Ask: How are some of the ways you take care of your pet? (take it to the veterinarian when it is sick, take it for walks, provide a home for it, feed it, clean up after it, play with it)

Say: Many dogs are raised and trained to help people. Ask: Can you think of any job that dogs are trained to do? (Allow children to respond.)

Read one of the books about working dogs from the list above.

Following the reading, discuss how dogs are used on ranches to round cattle and sheep, dogs are trained to assist the blind or disabled. Dogs are used in search and rescue situations. They can be used in airport and business security capacities as well in assisting police officers and firefighters.

Say: There is a very popular phrase about dogs, maybe you have heard it before. It says A dog is man's best friend. Ask: What do you think people mean when they say this? (Allow children to speculate.)


Kindergarten -Science - Lesson 25

Say: Some people think that a dog is more than a pet. They think a dog can also be a really good friend. Ask: If you have a dog at your house, do you agree with this? (Allow children to give examples of how their dog is also a good friend.)

Ask: What makes a good friend? (Allow for discussion) Say: Just like a good friend, many dogs are loving, trusting, and loyal.

Read some of the other books about dogs listed above.

Suggested Follow-Up Activity

Set up a classroom pet for the children to care for. Discuss how food, water, air, and a home are provided for whichever pet you choose. Remind children to treat living things in a safe, humane manner. Suggestions follow:

1. Land Snails (may be purchased at local pet shops) are an excellent choice for classroom pets. Land snails require minimal care. They will live quite nicely in a plastic box. Put soil into the bottom of the box and sprinkle it with water. Add leaves and twigs, food (lettuce, carrots and apples) and land snails. Cover the box with plastic wrap.

2. Crickets (available at pet stores that sell crickets as reptile food) are an interesting classroom pet. They also will do nicely in a plastic box. Place a branch for the crickets to climb and a folded piece of paper for them to hide under in the box. Place a sponge moistened with water in a shallow dish and a very small amount of crumbled cracker, bread or cereal in another dish for their food and water. The crickets will drink by sipping from the sponge. Keep the box covered with a loosely fitting cover or a screen so that the crickets can't escape. (Crickets shed their skins; don't be alarmed if you find any empty shell in the box.)

3. Ants are the simplest of classroom pets. The easiest way to start a successful ant colony is to buy an ant farm kit at a pet store. The kit comes with a coupon which you mail in to receive your ants.

4. Fish, gerbils and hamsters are also fun for children to watch. However, they require more care. Consult a pet store for the particulars in keeping these types of animals in your classroom.

Before setting up any pet in your classroom, be aware of any allergies your children may have.