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Characteristics of Mammals Mini-Lesson

Use this slideshow to introduce students to some of the defining characteristics of mammals.
Grades
4 |
5 |
6
Themes
Holidays
Teaching Strategies
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Excerpted from

Eyewitness: Mammal
Eyewitness: Mammal
Steve Parker

Here is a spectacular and informative guide to the natural world of mammals, offer a unique "eyewitness" view of the natural history of mammal behavior and anatomy through stunning real-life photographs.

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Objective
Students will learn about some of the traits that mammals share.
Suggested Time
15 minutes
Reading Level
Upper Elementary
Characteristics of Mammals Mini-Lesson

Teacher Background

As far as we know, mammals appeared on Earth some 200 million years ago. We know because we have found their fossils: bones, teeth, and other
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  • A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  • Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work.(Example: Do you think the caption "Web-footed Wonder" is a good one for the platypus? Why or why not?)
Continue the Conversation
Point out to students that mammals share many characteristics with other groups of animals as well. For example, all mammals are vertebrates—but so are birds, amphibians, and reptiles!
Write about it
Have students "invent" a new mammal! They can draw a picture of the mammal and then describe how the animal illustrates the mammalian traits, or characteristics, they've just learned about.

Lesson Contents

TEACHER RESOURCES

Extension Activities

Reinforcements

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worksheet

Word Power Vocabulary
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary related to mammal traits by using each defined word in a sentence.

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worksheet

Bird or Mammal?
Grade: 3 - 6
Students compare two animals whose superficial characteristics are identical.

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