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Preschool Zoology: Introduce Invertebrates & Vertebrates

Yes! Preschool zoology is a real thing! How do you talk to young children about big words like vertebrates & invertebrates?
preschool zoology

Here is a tip: Preschool zoology doesn’t have to be overwhelming in its terms. When introducing Vertebrates and Invertebrates, for example, to preschoolers that use simple descriptive words and phrases and “real” objects (like Safari Toobs) to concretely connect the child with organisms. Be careful not to generalize.

For example, not all birds fly.


Preschool Zoology Montessori Life Science Sequence

The Montessori Life Science Lesson Sequence is as follows:

  1. Living/Non-Living
  2. Plant/Animal (within Plant/Animal you also have “Parts of a Plant” and “Isolated Plant Part”)
  3. Vertebrates/Invertebrates

First, introduce as a group lesson with the objects only. Then present individually with objects and then cards. Typically there will be room on the shelf for each of these areas for the children.

preschool zoology invertebrates vertebrates

What is a Vertebrate?

  • Amphibians – lay eggs in water, having blood moving through their bodies, cannot regulate body temperature (cold blooded0, wet skin, spend part of their life in the water
  • Reptiles – dry, scaly skin, cannot regulate body temperature, lay eggs
  • Birds – have feathers, give birth to babies from eggs, most birds migrate
  • Fish – scaly, slimy, lay eggs, live in the water
  • Mammals – have hair, have mother’s milk, give birth to live young, warm blooded

Montessori life science preschool zoology

What is an Invertebrate?

  • Arthropoda have jointed limbs and include insects with 3 body parts and six legs, arachnids with 2 body parts and 8 legs, crustaceans with an exo-skeletan
  • Porifera – no definite symmetry, no organs, live in water mostly, include sponges
  • Cnidaria – have radial symmetry and include jellyfishes, corals, sea anemones, hydras
  • Annelida – segmented worms and include earthworms and leeches
  • Mollusca – include octopus, squid and snails (it is actually very difficult to describe Mollusca because they vary so much)
  • Echinodermata – have radial symmetry, have several arms coming from the center, the body is in 5 segments, no heart, no brain, no eyes, have tube feet with suction pads and include sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers

I hope you find this post helpful with your exploration of Invertebrates and Vertebrates!

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