Invertebrate-Vertebrate Unit Study – Montessori Activities
Homeschooling is so great because you can be flexible and go with the flow when the need arises! We were all prepared to start school with a unit on rocks when my wonderful homeschooling friend offered to give us some flatworms called Planarian. Her family had studied them and their amazing properties. We jumped at the chance to do something new and delved into a week-long study of invertebrates.
It has been a while since ED (my preschooler) has done any Montessori science, so we started with that. We brought out our living and non-living cards. I handed each of the kids a stack and they divided the cards into two piles. We used the cards I printed out years ago from Homemade Montessori.
Next, we talked about how scientists classify things, grouping them so they have things in common. For example, living things have been divided into five kingdoms. We talked briefly about the different characteristics of the animal, plant, fungi, protists and prokaryotes kingdoms. Then I handed a stack of cards to the kids, and had them decide where they belonged. I worked with ED on this portion.
Once we had them divided into different categories we put away everything but the animal cards. We talked about how some animals have backbones and some don’t. We looked at the vertebrate cards by Cathie at The Helpful Garden that show the backbone of the various vertebrate groups. (She has tons of great stuff she’s posted for free. Be sure to check out her website!) Then we divided our animal kingdom cards into vertebrate and invertebrate cards.
The kids then spent time working on the packet for their science notebooks, drawing pictures of several vertebrate and invertebrate animals. I loved how carefully DD examined the photo of the tiger as she drew its stripes!
After that we moved into some hands-on science exploration. More about that tomorrow!