Getting into… birds and mammals

Early years

Understanding the world


Birds and mammals

Download the visual resource that accompanies the session below.

Activity A

Say the following words and get learners to point to where these body parts are on their own body: head, neck, feet, legs, ears, eyes, mouth. Fold the WWT ‘Birds and mammals’ visual in half and display just the ‘birds’ half. Point to the beaks on these birds. Then say ‘beak’.

Do we have a beak? (No). Which animals have a beak? (Birds). Birds use their beaks to eat. Point to the bird’s wings.

What are these called? (Wings. All birds have wings). Birds use their wings to fly. Also point out that birds have feathers.

Have you ever found a feather? If possible show a feather. Then talk through the names of the birds on the visual.

Have you ever seen any of these birds? Where?

Now unfold the WWT ‘Birds and mammals’ visual and explain that here are some other animals that are not birds. These are called mammals. Mammals have fur or hair on their bodies. Point to the otter.

This is an otter. It is a mammal. Now point to the otter’s tail.

What is this body part called? (A tail. Otters use their tail to help them swim and balance).

Do any other animals on this visual have a tail? (The water vole. The water vole uses its tail to help it balance too).

Activity B

b) Cut around the animals on the WWT ‘Birds and mammals’ visual and put them on a table for all learners in a small group to see. Say the names of body parts and ask learners to find an animal/animals with that body part e.g. Point to an animal that has wings or move all animals with a tail to this side of the table.

Less time?

Just do section B

Go outside

Go into the playground (take a copy of the WWT ‘Birds and mammals’ visual) and play a drama game. Call out the name of an animal, and the action, and learners have to act it out e.g. We are otters and we are swimming (point to the picture of the otter and pretend to swim). We are swans and we are eating (point to the picture of the swan and use your hand as a beak to show eating). We are bats and we are flying (point to the picture of the bat and pretend to fly around). Other actions could include sleeping (bat - upside down!), diving/dabbling (mallard duck), creeping (water vole).