Teaching elementary students about animal diversity is an exciting and engaging way to introduce them to the wonders of the natural world. With its rich biodiversity, South America offers a fantastic opportunity to delve into the fascinating array of species found on this magnificent continent.

By combining the creative activity of drawing and colouring animals with mapping their distribution, students can better understand South American wildlife diversity and its unique geographical features.

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Printable & Activity Objectives

Age: 7 to 9 year olds, Activity Time: 1-2 hours, Items Needed: Writing and colouring pencils

In this activity, your child will colour and complete different animals from South America and mark which countries in the continent they can be found.

It will help your child or student:

  • Promote Research and Exploration: Students engage in research about animals, exploring books and resources to learn about different species found in South America.
  • Develop Knowledge of Animal Diversity: Students gain a deeper understanding of the incredible variety of animals found in South America and the specific characteristics that distinguish them.
  • Strengthen Geographical Knowledge: Mapping the distribution of animals helps students develop their geographical skills, such as recognizing and locating regions on a map.

Let's get started!

How to Get Started

Simple steps to start:

  • Here's a simple lesson plan:
  1. Engaging with Art: Art is a powerful tool that stimulates children's imagination and creativity while fostering observation skills. Encourage students to choose an animal from South America and have them draw and colour it on paper. Provide them with reference materials such as books or printouts showcasing various animals from the region, allowing students to explore and choose their favourites. Encourage them to pay attention to the unique features of their chosen animal, such as its habitat, physical characteristics, and adaptations.
  2. Facilitating Map Exploration: To deepen their understanding of animal distribution, introduce students to the art of mapping. Provide them with blank maps of South America, or have them draw their own outlines of the continent on paper. Using references such as books or online resources, guide students in identifying the regions where their chosen animals are commonly found. Assist them in marking these areas on their maps, helping them visualize the distribution patterns.
  3. Connecting Art and Mapping: Once the students have completed their drawings and identified the animal's distribution on their maps, encourage discussions about the connections between their artwork and the habitats of the animals. Ask guiding questions such as: What features of the animal's appearance suit its environment well? How does the animal's habitat contribute to its survival? Encourage students to consider the relationship between the animal's physical traits, behaviour, and its habitat.
  4. Sharing and Presenting: Promote collaboration and learning by allowing students to share their artwork and maps with their peers. Organize a classroom gallery or presentation where each student can explain their chosen animal, its unique features, and the distribution patterns they observed. This activity enhances their public speaking skills and allows their peers to learn about different animals and their habitats.
  • Research and find out more about South America and the animals found there. Here's a comprehensive introduction about South America:

Here's an interesting video about one of South America's most unique animals, the giant anteater:

Here's a video about the strange but adorable South American Tapirs:

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What's in the Printable Worksheet Pack

This printable pack consists of 6 printable learning challenge worksheets. Here are what it comprises of:

  • 5 printable prompted Animals of South America fact and map sheets.
  • 1 printable Animals of South America fact and map template sheet.

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