ANIMALS: Snapping, Clapping Poems for Kids

ANIMALS: Snapping, Clapping Poems for Kids

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Science & Illustrating—Bears’ fondness for honey is well known. What other foods are associated with a specific animal? Examples: Elephants/peanuts; Bears/berries; Cats/fish, and so on. Brainstorm a list of animal/food pairs. Illustrate those ideas.

Science & Tasting—Bring in photos of beehives and bees. (The Internet is a great source) After discussing facts about bees and honey and how a bear might get some honey to eat, celebrate the learning with a snack of graham crackers topped with honey.



Chanting & Drama—Chant the poem several times. Then replace the names or pronouns with the name of a child from the group. That child (or children) act out going into the pet store as the others chant the poem again.

Storytelling—Invite the child(ren) to make up and tell a story about one of the pets in the poem. Their story might be from the perspective of the child who’s looking for a pet to purchase, or from the pet’s perspective. Be the pet. Who is going to buy them? What would their new home be like? Etc.



Drama—Together, brainstorm and act out movements to accompany each line of the poem.

Art & Math—Have each child illustrate his or her favorite line in the poem. Use those pictures to create a graph. Discuss the graph. What is the group’s favorite line?



Art—Make a cartoon collage using clippings of newspaper comics, comic books, or printed copies of cartoons found on the Internet. Cut these out and glue them onto a large background sheet of colorful butcher or construction paper.

Music—Chant the poem over and over rhythmically. When the words are familiar and easy to chant, snap or clap and/or tap out the rhythm with percussion instruments.


ABC Animals

Writing & Illustrating—As a group, brainstorm a list of animals that begin with other letters of the alphabet. Write new verses, illustrate them, and bind them together forming a child-made book. Read the book aloud.

Geography—Exotic animals are mentioned in this poem such as the aardvark (Africa), the capybara (South America), the bandicoot and the emu (Australia). Locate the countries on a world map or globe where these animals can be found.



Listen & Discuss—Read aloud the book Bearymore by Don Freeman. The story is about a circus bear that must come up with a new act while he is trying to hibernate.

Writing or Telling—Invite the child(ren) to pretend they are bears and they must choose whether they are circus or zoo or forest bears. After deciding where they live, ask them to write about a day in their lives in a Bear Diary. This is a great activity for pairing up young children with older helpers.


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