Theme-based lesson plans: ANIMALS

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Why the theme animals?

Some children have pets and the possibility to learn about animals at home, but some do not. According to research, having animals at home has benefits for children's development. For young children, pet attachment can prevent depressive symptoms. There's also research about the companionship of animals saying that spending time with animals can increase a child’s self-esteem and promote a child’s cognitive development.

Therefore, no need to explain why the theme 'animals' is important in early childhood education. Especially those children who do not have pets or do not see animals very often, need to have the possibility to learn about animals at least. Through learning activities, some children may also overcome their own fear of certain animals or insects. Children learn to respect different kind of animals and their living environment through play and playful activities.

Animals are also very interesting! They make incredible sounds, and they come in all the colors of the rainbow, some are tiny while others are huge, some are awake at night and some sleep the entire winter! Animal theme has a LOT to discover and surely all children find some animals they fall in love with.

Get a preview of a lesson plan here!


Theme-based lesson plans

Theme-based lessons make learning engaging and meaningful for children. By exploring a central theme, children can see how different subjects are connected, participate in hands-on activities, and develop their language, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Themes provide context for learning, allowing children to relate new information to their own experiences. This fosters motivation, active participation, and a deeper understanding of the subject matter, laying a strong foundation for future learning.

The Lessons are also connected to 5 learning areas and their objectives derived from the Finnish National Curriculum. However, the learning areas and objectives are often similar to other international curriculums and can easily be used in any Early Learning Center.


Examples of two animal-themed lesson plans


1. Butterfly life cycle

Children possess an innate curiosity and an eagerness to explore and learn about their
environment. Among insects, the life cycle of a butterfly is considered one of the most
enchanting transformations, and it is fascinating for children to discover and understand.

Lesson focus and goals

  • Supports gaining knowledge about the sequence of a butterfly's life cycle
  • Helps children understand how species or creatures grow from an egg to the adult stage
  • Helps children understand the natural world around them
  • Cultivates love and care for the animals
  • Boosts creativity and curiosity
  • Supports cognitive growth
  • Develop language skills
  • Improves hand-eye coordination


2. Animal yoga

Animal yoga is a fun and engaging physical activity that can be enjoyed by children of all ages. It combines the benefits of yoga with the excitement of pretending to be different animals, allowing children to improve their flexibility, balance, and strength while also using their imaginations.

Through animal yoga, children develop their physical abilities but also learn mindfulness and relaxation techniques, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Animal yoga encourages children to use their creativity and imagination, as they pretend to be different animals and explore their movements.

Yoga is a fun and engaging physical activity that can be adapted to meet the needs of
children at all levels.

Lesson focus and goals

  • Promotes physical activity
  • Enhances flexibility and balance
  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Encourages mindfulness
  • Increases body awareness
  • Fosters creativity and imagination
  • Promotes social skills


Get a preview of a lesson plan here!

Roarr! Happy learning!