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Hungry Herbivores


Learn what an herbivore is, then create and compare two collages.

  • Target Age:  3-6 
  • Learning Goals:  animals, categorization, food, art
  • Related Episode: Episode 102: The Call of the Wild Corythosaurus/Triceratops for Lunch

Materials

  • lyric sheet for “Hungry, Hungry Herbivore” (pdf)
  • pictures of 5-10 herbivores — animals that eat only plants (e.g. cow, deer, elephant, horse, panda, rhinoceros, manatee, giraffe, gorilla, bee, sheep, squirrel). If possible, find images of these animals eating. Pictures can be printed out from the Internet, or cut out from recycled magazines.
  • pictures of 5-10 colorful fruits and vegetables, printed from the Internet or cut from recycled magazines
  • 2 large pieces of oak tag per child (poster board, or 4 sheets of printer paper taped together also work well)
  • kid safety scissors
  • glue stick or tape

Directions

  1. Ask your child to think of some animals that eat only plants. If your child is stuck, suggest she think of some common farm animals.
  2. Explain that scientists have special names for animals that eat only plants: herbivores. (Note that the word “herbivore” can be pronounced either “HERB-uh-vor” or “IRB-uh-vor.” Both are correct.) Encourage your child to say this word with the animal(s) she suggested. Example: “A cow is an herbivore.”
  3. Watch Dr. Scott, the paleontologist, explaining what an herbivore is here.
  4. Watch “Triceratops for Lunch” (above) and encourage your child to sing along. (For added fun, you can make an audio or video recording of your child singing this song.)
  5. Have your child make a collage of modern animals that are herbivores. She can do this by cutting out pictures, then gluing or taping them onto a large piece of oak tag, posterboard, or paper. Somewhere on the collage, help your child write the word “HERBIVORES.”
  6. Ask your child to think about her favorite fruits and vegetables. Remind her that all fruits and vegetables are plants. (They grow from seeds, need sunlight, dirt and water etc.) Help her find pictures of these favorite fruits and vegetables either in recycled magazines, or on the Internet.
  7. Have your child make a collage of her favorite fruits and vegetables. Somewhere on the collage help her write “MY FAVORITE PLANTS”
  8. Ask your child to compare the two collages. What plants does she enjoy that other animals they know about also eat to survive?

Take it Further
  • For older children, you can help them make a chart of herbivores, and the specific foods they eat. You might tell your child that some herbivores are very fussy eaters. Koalas, for example, only eat the leaves of the eucalyptus tree.
  • In a follow-up discussion about what different animals eat, consider introducing the words "carnivore" (an animal that eats only meat, and often has to catch its meals) and "omnivore" (an animal that eats both plants and meat). You could discuss that most humans are omnivores — but some people, known as vegetarians, choose to only eat fruits and vegetables
  • Inspired by the above discussion, your child could write a song entitled "I'm a Hungry, Hungry Omnivore" in which they sing about all her favorite foods.

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