Going deeper...
birds and mammals

Early years

Understanding the world.


Birds and mammals

Download the visual resource that accompanies the session below.

Activity A

Cut around the animals on the WWT ‘Birds and mammals’ visual and lay them out on a table so that all learners in the small group can see them. Remind learners of the names of these animals and ask if they saw any of them during their recent visit to WWT.

Ask learners to listen carefully as you describe one of the animals (without saying its name). Challenge them to match your description, to a picture e.g. The animal I am thinking of is brown (this could be the otter, the sand martin or the bat). It can fly. It is small. It is a bird. It is a….. sand martin. Repeat. Then ask learners if they can describe an animal for the rest of the group to find.

Activity B

In small groups, give each learner an animal cut from the WWT ‘Birds and mammals’ visual. Provide pieces of paper with the following body parts and colours written on: head, wings, beak, legs, eyes, nose, ears, tail, brown, white, orange etc. Support learners with reading the words and ask them to select words and decide whether it describes the animal they have in front of them or not. They should continue to choose words until they have around three or four words to describe their animal. Challenge learners to place these words on the picture to show where the legs, eyes, head etc are. When all learners have had a go, these pictures and words could be left out to create an independent activity, where learners could stick and label the pictures of the animals.

Less time?

Just do section B

Have a whole afternoon?

Extend section B by putting an animal in the middle of the table and selecting 3 or 4 words to describe it (but one is incorrect). Support learners in reading these words and then ask, which is the odd word out? Which animal could this word be matched with instead?

Go outside

As a class, go out bird and mammal spotting in the playground, nearby park or on a local walk. Model and demonstrate how to stay quiet and still when looking for animals. Explain that this is how you will see the most animals. Running at birds or shouting and scaring animals is not kind or friendly.

How many mammals can you spot?

Can you count how many birds you can see?

Which body parts can you see?

Encourage learners to describe the birds and mammals they see.

How would you describe it?

What does it look like?

Take photographs and try to match these to animals in an identification book or online.

Can you find the animal you’ve just seen, in this book/on this page?