When Morgan was in 1st grade we opted to do an animal classification poster all based on mammals. At the time we were using the terrific book called Galloping The Globe as we traveled around the world. At each stop we made we learned about a mammal. It was a wonderful experience and Morgan could spot a mammal head on a mile away. Jayden, however, was barely preschool age and had not a care in the world unless it was sitting outside on his swing singing to himself and counting off until someone was going to come push him again. I decided it was time for Jayden to encounter some animal classification, but honestly I wanted to keep it super simple and super fun.
My original idea had been to make a pocket lapbook and label each pocket with a specific classification. Morgan had requested we make one to use for something and I figured this was an excellent possibility. Only, in my travels around the world wide web I stumbled upon a beautiful classification wall at Confessions Of A Homeschooler. She actually backed her wall with a piece of posterboard or bulletin board paper, but I have to be careful about putting holes in our walls too and sense tape and blue tak only hold so much, we went with the bare wall idea.
What I love about this chart is that each of the headers has clues under it for the kids to use when they are placing an animal on the wall. This is important for people who are just learning to classify animals, at least in my opinion it is! We had the same thing going with our mammal chart, which I still have tucked away in the closet because I can't seem to bring myself to throwing it out.
What we do is each week we place a new animal on our wall. Most of these animals came from our first two weeks back to school when I took the photos. I print out a smaller picture of the animal and I let the kids decide where it belong on our chart. I was impressed that Jayden picked up on what a mammal was right away, which wasn't too hard considering his first book had 7 animals in it and 5 of them were mammals. It was Morgan who knew right away that a lizard was a reptile. I gotta say that impressed me because it's only something we've spoken about in passing. We do a lot of our learning like that and I'm always amazed by how much they truly learn and remember that way too.
Needless to say we have a few parts of our wall that need some heavy duty filling in! We'll be filling up the fish area over the next few weeks with a big ocean study we have coming up, which I'm really looking forward to. The boys really love this super simple method of learning about which animal is which! Simple. Educational. Works for us!