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Reptile Unit

April 1, 2008

from Winter 2006-2007 — This is sort of a Montessori-inspired activity; it was part of a reptile unit James and I did, in which we read many books and did a lot of notebooking. I made many reptile cards, most were of species I knew we would see in the Reptile Zoo in Luray, Virginia. James and Sarah matched each species to the continent where they thought it lives.

The activity is self-correcting, because the back of each card matches the background of the continent sheet.

This is a good segue to talking about climates, habitats, and adaptations, as well as a way to explore world geography.

We did an activity on reptile orders. I laid out two circles (hula hoops). One was labeled “Reptiles,” and the other was labeled “Amphibians.” I wrote orders that comprise each of these classes on index cards and the kids sorted them:
Reptiles: Order Squamata (snakes, lizards and worm lizards), Order Crocodilia (crocodiles, alligators, gavials & caimans), Turtles & Tortoises & Tuataras
Amphibians: Frogs and Toads, Salamanders and Newts, Caecilians

We also did an activity comparing reptiles to amphibians. I made a Venn diagram with Hula Hoops. One was labeled “Reptiles,” and the other was labeled “Amphibians.” I wrote various characteristics on index cards, and the kids sorted them according to whether they were characteristics of amphibians, reptiles, or both. As you can see, the traits in the area included in both circles, vertebrates, breathe air, and exothermic (cold blooded) are characteristics of both.

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