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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

25 Zoo Theme Activities Kindergarten Lesson Plans – Freebie

25 kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. Our resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and spark curiosity in young learners.

The zoo theme is a big hit with kindergarten students each year. Both students and teachers find it enjoyable and engaging. Children are naturally fascinated by animals, making this theme a great way to tap into their curiosity. Don’t forget to pick up the free zoo activities included later in this post! They’re ideal for centers for your zoo unit.

Kindergarten zoo activities! DiKindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.scover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

Zoo Theme Kindergarten Fun!

A Sick Day for Amos McGee is one of my favorite zoo books. When Deanna Jump and I were putting together our reading comprehension units, I KNEW we needed this sweet story.

If you haven’t read it, you must check it out now! 

A Sick Day for Amos McGee Book Summary

“A Sick Day for Amos McGee” is a sweet story of Amos McGee, a kind zookeeper who is sick one day and can’t make it to work.  Over the years, Amos has taken special care of each of the different animals at the zoo, so when Amos didn’t come to work, they jumped to action. His animal friends leave the zoo to check on him.

And with the same level of sweetness, they return the favor.  This is one of those books that BEG to be read again and again.  This is exactly the type of story that is perfect for a close read.

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee Interactive Read Aloud

Interactive read alouds are a gem in the kindergarten classroom, where the magic of storytelling truly comes to life. During these sessions, the teacher takes on the role of decoding the text, articulating the words, and modulating their voice to bring the story off the page while the students dive into the world of comprehension.

This means that while the teacher reads, the students listen, imagine, and think deeply about the story. They engage in discussions, answer questions, and make predictions, turning a simple story reading into a robust cognitive exercise.

This method is crucial because it focuses students’ energy on understanding and enjoying the literature, building their listening and thinking skills, which are foundational for their future reading and academic success. 

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

#1  Kindergarten Zoo Activity – Making Predictions

Predicting is a powerful reading comprehension strategy in which students make an educated guess about what might happen next in a story. This engages their imagination and analytical skills, encouraging active reading and deeper understanding. It helps students connect text to their experiences and knowledge, enhancing their engagement and learning.

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

Here is the writing prompt we used for this activity.

  • Readers make predictions.  Where do you think the animals were going?

These teaching slides help guide the discussions that take place between reading partners.

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

After students have had a chance to talk about their thinking, then they respond!

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.
Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.
Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.
Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

#2  Kindergarten Zoo Activity – Retelling Story Elements

Retelling a story sequentially reinforces the student’s understanding of the text.  It encourages students to recall details and organize them logically, which enhances their ability to summarize and articulate thoughts clearly. This practice not only boosts comprehension but also sharpens critical thinking skills.  When we add the practice of students turning to their partners to practice this retelling, we get an added boost in oral language development.

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

After students have practiced retelling the story, then they create their own version.  You will see a photo of this under the Zoo Craft section of this post.

#3 Kindergarten Zoo Activity – Character Analysis

Character analysis in reading comprehension allows students to delve into the personalities and motivations of characters, enhancing their empathy and critical thinking. By exploring how characters react and change, students connect deeper with the story, improving their ability to interpret complex emotions and social interactions.

Here is the writing prompt for this comprehension activity:

  • You can learn a lot about a character by the way they look, how they act, and things they do. What do you know about Amos?
Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

Then the students respond.  

I’m often asked if the students need to respond each day.  The answer is no.  The power of interactive read-aloud lies in the students’ conversations.  So if you are short on time, skip the written response, but be sure to have the discussion!

25 Zoo Theme Activities Kindergarten Lesson Plans - Freebie 1

#4 Kindergarten Zoo Activity – Making Connections

Making connections is a reading comprehension strategy where students link the story to their own experiences, other texts, or world events. This enriches their understanding and makes reading more relevant and engaging. It helps students see books as mirrors and windows into their own lives and the broader world.  Here is the discussion and writing prompt for this activity:

  • Amos McGee is an early riser.  Are you an early riser or do you like to sleep in?

I will answer that.  I am an early riser that wishes I could be a sleep-in sort-of gal!

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

#5 Kindergarten Zoo Activity – Opinion Writing

Forming an opinion about a text encourages critical thinking and personal expression. It prompts students to evaluate the story and articulate their views, fostering a deeper engagement with the text and developing their ability to support their opinions with evidence from the story. Here is the discussion and writing prompt for this activity:

  • What was your favorite part of the story?  Tell me why you liked it.
Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

#6 Kindergarten Zoo Activity – Sentence Study 

Each week we also create a sentence that relates to the book and do a little sentence study!

Here is the teaching slide for it!

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

These kindergarten students are sorting words by their part of speech!

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

#7 Elephant Craft for Zoo Lesson Plans

Here is the adorable elephant craft that is included in the lesson plans.  Students will add the retelling images to the trunk. 

Here is the adorable elephant craft that is included in the lesson plans.  Students will add the retelling images to the trunk. 

Not only is this great comprehension anchor activity, it also is a fun way to display the retelling activity and is a great bulletin board display!

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

I hope your class has fun with this precious book.  

Do you want the planning done for you?

You can find all these zoo activities for A Sick Day for Amos McGee in our Reading Comprehension Units.

#8 A Sick Day for Amos McGee Video

We do so much teaching with this book, but it is sometimes great to have another model of reading fluency!

Zoo Lesson Plans: Math and Literacy Centers

These zoo themed centers are so much fun! From printable to digital, you can use what works for your classroom!

#9 Zoo Stamping Activities

My May Stamp It! center has fun zoo math and literacy stamping pages. Students have fun stamping zoo animal names and creating sentences for literacy. 

These themed activities have some variety. For the math stamping pages, students practice counting and writing number names.

Zoo lesson plans for kindergarten and first grade. Reading, math & literacy centers,  science activities, and a math freebie will keep your students engaged in your zoo unit of study!
Counting zoo animals and stamping the total.
Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

#10 Zoo Sentence and Handwriting Practice

My huge collection of Read, Trace, Glue, and Draw activities includes a set of zoo animals. I love these activities so much because you can easily differentiate within your classroom. With three levels, all of your students can be successful and equally challenged! My students loved realizing that they could READ the sentence!!!

Each sentence offers some fine motor skills practice with cutting skills. 

These activities also work great as morning work!

#11 Zoo Themed Digital Centers

Here is a week-long set of digital centers for your theme of zoo thematic lessons!

Students practice math and ELA skills.  There is a directory so students can keep track of the activities they have completed!

Click here to grab these zoo-themed digital centers:

#12 Writing Center with a Zoo Theme!

The writing center was always active in my classroom. I would change the vocabulary cards throughout the year to match our current theme, so of course, there are zoo-themed cards!

These animal pictures are a classroom favorite.

There are a lot of different ways to use this literacy center. Here, kindergarten children write the animal names on the label on the picture page.  This literacy center has been updated with fresh images, but the activity is still the same.

You can find these printable activities in my  writing center for May:

#13 Zoo Lesson Plans: Science

There are several topics in my bundle of Interactive Science Nonfiction Books that would work well with your zoo theme!

This kindergarten class had fun learning about big cats and endangered animals.

Each interactive book is preloaded into Seesaw and also Google Slides, so that means no prep for you! That’s a WIN!

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.
Students learn a bit about animal habitats in this digital activity.

Each digital book reinforces ELA skills and introduces science vocabulary.

Plus, there are audio clips included on each slide so students hear the new science vocabulary and work independently if needed at home or in the classroom.

Check out the bundle of 30 different interactive books, here:

#14 Free Favorite Zoo Animal Math Activity

Young children work on graphing with these free zoo-themed math activities!

Students place their favorite animal in a pocket chart and then work on graphing skills.

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

You can grab these zoo theme activities by clicking:

#15 Zoo Lesson Plans: Virtual Field Trip

Going to the zoo is a popular field trip for many kindergarten and first-grade classrooms! If you are studying zoo animals, but are unable to take a field trip to your own zoo, a virtual field trip is a great option! The San Diego Zoo has an amazing website with live webcams and fun activities and resources!

Zoo lesson plans for kindergarten and first grade. Reading, math & literacy centers,  science activities, and a math freebie will keep your students engaged in your zoo unit of study!

#16 Zoo Kindergarten Vowel Sound Center Activity

In this literacy activity, students are working with short vowel sounds.  They spin the spinner, and cover the picture that matches that medial vowel sound.

#17 Zoo Kindergarten Phoneme Manipulation Center Activity

You are in the alligator den now!  In this activity, students change the existing CVC word to make a new word!

#18 & 19 Zoo Kindergarten Addition and Subtraction Center Activities

These zoo animals make adorable and fun math center activities!

#20 Zoo CVC Card Game

Technically, I guess, this is 2 different activities, but since students use the same cards, I’m just counting it as one!

Students pull the cards out of the bag and read the words.  They have to watch out for the special words!  (The special cards make them squeal with excitement!)

Students also use these zoo game cards to play a memory game.  They flip over two cards and read both of the words.  If the pictures are a match, they get to keep them.

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

I have quite a few of these card games, so once students know how to play them, you can just swap out the theme and you don’t need to reteach the activity again and again!

#21 Zoo Themed Spelling Game

Like the game above, I have several different themed spelling games.  These students are playing with both letter cards and their spelling words.  This zoo animal theme game comes with letters and sight words already printed on the cards, but the editable word cards make it easy to customize this activity. 

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.
Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

You can read more about this fun game by reading:

You can find this zoo themed board game by clicking:

#22 Zoo Themed Poem

We went to the zoo for our field trips when I taught in San Diego!  Lucky us!  I wrote this original poem a long time ago, but it still makes students giggle!

#23 Inferring Riddle of the Day with a Zoo Theme!

These riddles are so much fun to do each morning. As students came into the room, I read the poem for them. Each riddle offers clues about different zoo animals. Students listened to the clues and wrote their guesses. 

Then, during the morning meeting, we would reveal the answer!

Read more about the riddle fo the day by clicking:

Kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. these resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and have a great zoo unit for your classroom.

You can find this zoo riddle and a bunch more by clicking:

#24 More Zoo Handwriting Practice Worksheets

AH!  More zoo related handwriting activities.  I tell you, handwriting is a big deal in kindergarten.  You can click on the image to find this set of zoo printables.

#25 Free Zoo Center Activity

You can download this free zoo center by putting your email below!

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Zoo Lesson Plan Template

You can download this free lesson plan template and edit it to make it your own! On the PDF version, each resource is linked so you can find it quickly.  There is also a PowerPoint version!

Click on the image or HERE to download it from my Google Drive!

Do you want to see more lesson plans like this?

Hopefully, you found a few hands-on activities and lesson ideas you can try for your insect week.  As I said, this sweet book is a great story that I’m sure your students will love.

Zoo Animal Activities

I hope you added some new activities to your zoo week!

You can find more free printables and other resources by clicking below:

 

25 kindergarten zoo activities! Discover engaging zoo lesson plans, free zoo printable activities, and tailored A Sick Day for Amos McGee lesson plans. Our resources provide everything you need to bring the zoo to your classroom and spark curiosity in young learners.

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Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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2 Responses

  1. this is of big help, i will definitely use the information gotten from this wonderful blog in guiding my young one

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