Going deeper...
amphibians and invertebrates

Early years

Understanding the world.


Amphibians and invertebrates

Download the visual resource that accompanies the session below.

Activity A

In groups or pairs, each with a WWT ‘Amphibians and invertebrates’ visual and a pencil, take your class to an area in the playground or local environment with some grassland, woodland, hedgerow or undergrowth. Logs, stones or leaf litter are normally a good place to start. Although Spring and Summer may be a warmer time of year, Autumn is also a great season for this due to the amount of leaf litter and damp ground. Explain to learners that they are going on a hunt for the animals on the visual. They must record their findings by circling the animals they find or by drawing a tick next to each one. If possible, learners should take photos of what they find, to share with the class later.

It is very important for the learners to understand how to take care of animals from their local environment and the need to return them safely to their original location after study. Demonstrate this by rolling a log over, carefully observing what is underneath, marking the animals on the visual and then carefully rolling the log back.

Encourage learners to call to their peers if they find something e.g. ‘Look, I have found a long earthworm under this stone’ or, ‘Come here, we can see a tiny ant on this tree’. If they are not sure what they have found, encourage learners to ask. If they find something that is not on the WWT visual they could take a photograph of it to show the rest of the class.

Activity B

Discuss what learners have found.

  • What does the animal look like?
  • Where were they living?
  • Did you find anything that was not on the visual?
  • How did the animals you found differ to the ones you saw on your visit to WWT?

Share by describing to the class.

Less time?

Just do section A

Have a whole afternoon?

Extend section A by asking learners to closely watch one animal they found and see how it moves. They should then make up an action that they can do to represent the animal’s movement e.g. if they observe a worm they might come up with a wiggling action. Ask one learner to share their animal’s name and the action they have made up. As a whole group say the name of the animal and practise that action e.g. say ‘worm’ together and do the wiggle action. Repeat, choosing a few different learners so that the whole group learns five or more animals and associated actions. Then, as a whole group, sing ‘Old Macdonald had a playground/park/field’, inserting the names of the animals you’ve practised instead of farm animals and dancing the actions the learners have come up with instead of making animal sounds e.g. ‘Old Macdonald had a park…. and in that park he had a bee…. with a <dance the bee action> here and a <dance the bee action there>, here a <action> there a <action> etc.

Go outside

Laminate the WWT ‘Amphibians and invertebrates’ visual and cut around each animal. Hand them out, along with a peg each, and ask learners to peg their images to the areas in the school grounds that they found the original creature (or that they think that creature might live). This outdoor display can then be seen by other learners and may encourage more conversations about the wildlife in their local area.