All animals in the vast animal kingdom fall into one of two categories: vertebrates or invertebrates. Exploring these classes of animals can help young science learners better understand the lifeforms that fill the planet and make distinctions between them. Instead of engaging your students in complex, text-driven study, allow them to exercise their creativity while they learn about these two animal groups.
Vertebrate vs. Invertebrates Collage
Illustrate the differences between vertebrates and invertebrates pictorially by creating a collage. Provide your students with magazines or access to the Internet, and allow them to print or clip images of animals. Instruct them to consider whether each animal is a vertebrate or invertebrate when they cut out the pictures. Sort the pictures into two piles based on the animal's classification as a vertebrate or invertebrate. Divide a large piece of paper down the centre by folding in half and drawing a dark line separating the two sections. Ask the students to clip out the images and glue them down, placing vertebrate animals on one side and invertebrates on the other.
Invertebrate Stuffed Animals
Because invertebrates lack a spine, they are more flexible than animals with backbones, making them the perfect group to represent in stuffed form. Ask your artists to each select one invertebrate animal to turn into a stuffed animal. Provide your creators with scraps of fabric, thread, a needle and yarn. Allow them to use these tools to create a stuffed animal version of their selected invertebrates. Not only will this task allow them to put their creative skills to the test, it will also yield invertebrate models that are just as bendable as their real-life counterparts.
Reflect the rigid nature of spine-possessing vertebrates by creating sculptures. Ask each artist to select one vertebrate animal to sculpt. Provide the students with clay to create their animals, and bake or fire each finished project to make a lasting sculpture.
Produce some wearable art reflective of vertebrates and invertebrates. Instruct each artist to select one vertebrate and one invertebrate to feature in a two-sided mask. Give each student two card-stock ovals, roughly the size of a child's face. Give the students construction paper, glue, scissors, paint and yarn, and ask them to transform the ovals into masks that represent their selected animals. Use the yarn to attach the two masks, tying them together on one side and leaving loose string on the other so the creator can slip the mask over his face. When tied properly one side should be over the wearer's face, and the other the back of his head, allowing him to simply spin the mask around and wear a whole new face.
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