Additional Project and Lesson Ideas

The Wild Life of Limericks from A to Z  

By Shari Leventhal, Jean Merrill, and Doug Munch  

Designed for Children ages 5-7

1)    Build a Story

Pick a setting, pick an animal from the book or your favorite animal, pick an event, and write the story.

 2)    Classification Chart

Using the animals from the book, ask children to decide which category each belongs in? (Reptiles, Mammals, Amphibians, Insects, Fish, Birds)

Keep this chart up and throughout the year add to it when an animal is discussed.

 3)    Labeling and Vocabulary match-up

Have a coloring page of each animal. Have the children choose their favorite animal and label the body parts.

Have pictures of different animals hanging on a board or large chart paper.  Have vocabulary cards in a stack and have children place the card under the animal the vocabulary word would be associated with.

 4)    Compare and Contrast

Compare two animals at a time starting with the body parts. Then go to life styles, sounds they make, behavior, etc.

 5)    Oral Animal Report in front of the class

Meant to be interactive where classmates can ask questions:

My animal is ____

Its habitat is ____

It eats ____

Its predators are ____

Its common behavior and similarities to humans are ____

Other fun facts ____

 6)    Movement Game   (Good for gross motor development)

 Call on one child at a time to imitate an animal from the book or some other favorite animal.  Have class try to guess which animal the child is imitating.

Examples: Slither like a snake; stand like a flamingo, swing like a monkey, chomp like an alligator

 7)    Photo Montage

 a)    Animal lessons-students discuss how they eat, survive

- Put together an animal photo file.

- Children cut out interesting or cute or unusual photos of animals from magazines and newspapers and mount them on oak tag or construction paper and laminate them if you have access to a laminator.

- Children talk about topics such as what the animals eat, where they live, how they survive winter, how they care for their babies.

 b)    Group project - environmental niches and food chain

- Put out a large piece of paper (bulletin board paper or chart paper works).

- Have students color an environment on the paper. You can have them work in groups, each group creating a different environment - a rainforest, desert, alpine forest, etc. Then, have students research what kinds of wildlife would live in their environment. Have them draw pictures of different kinds of animals, cut them out and glue them where they belong in the picture - birds in the trees, fish in the water, etc.

- Have students create a "food chain" by drawing a predator animal, that animal's food source, and so on until they reach the lowest organism on that particular food chain. Glue each drawing to a strip of oak tag, then form a paper chain by stapling the oak tag strips into circles in the correct order.


 8)    Five Senses

Have children look at pictures of the animals and after discussing each animal, which sense does the animal rely on the most?

Examples: Bats have superior hearing

Play a game choosing an animal and then have the children supply the word that would be most applicable for that animal:

With my sense of sight I see: ____

With my sense of hearing I hear ____

With my sense of smell I smell ____

With my sense of taste I taste ____

With my sense of touch I feel ____ 

9)    Letter as animal written to humans

Introduce this lesson by reading the book The Wild Life of Limericks From A-Z.

Discuss the book with your students. Then discuss animals that students encounter regularly—classroom pets, pets at home, and animals in nature (e.g., birds, squirrels, insects). If these animals could write letters, what would they tell us?

Explain that students will pretend to be animals that write letters. Have each student choose an animal and think of a message the animal might write. Point out the parts of the letter and explain them:

• Since the animal is writing to you, the salutation will say: Dear [your name],

• The body of the letter will contain a message from the animal.

• The closing contains the word sincerely followed by the letter-writer’s name.

Allow students time to complete their letters at least two or three sentences long.

When they have finished, have them check to see that each sentence is clearly written and ends with the proper punctuation. (If needed, review punctuation rules.) Also have students check to be sure that all proper names and the first word in each sentence are capitalized.

Give students an opportunity to share their letters with the class.