Investigating Nocturnal Animals
What are nocturnal animals? Why do they keep such odd hours? Those were the questions my daughter and I attempted to answer. We’ve seen evidence of nocturnal animals when we spied scavenged food one morning on a camping trip. We’ve heard nocturnal animals. We’ve often heard hooting owls at night in the country. Now we wanted to know why they were awake when we were sleeping.
To record all of our information, we made simple accordion books. To make this simple booklet, you need to cut a piece of paper in half lengthwise. Then, fold it in quarters so that it opens up like an accordion. It really is that simple. We chose black paper since our booklet was about nocturnal animals.
We found a wonderful book at the library, Where Are The Night Animals? by Mary Ann Fraser. Before we started reading, we talked about what questions we wanted answered. Why did these animals prefer to be awake at night? Since it’s dark outside, how do they find food? How does the night help these animals? Asking these questions before hand gave my daughter something to focus on while listening.
After reading the book, we talked about our questions again. We recalled that one possible reason animals were awake at night was because there was fewer people and other predators around. We drew a few stick people to represent this answer. We also drew ears and noses because we learned that nocturnal animals depend upon their ears and noses since it is harder to see at night. My daughter is a pre-reader, so she used pictures only for her book. A child who is already reading and writing can write simple sentences in her booklet.
We also talked about the different types of animals that were nocturnal. We named several, such as raccoon, mice, owls, bats, and opossums. My daughter colored in her pages with the different colors of fur or feathers that you often see on nocturnal animals.
Making these simple booklets gave us a great opening to further discuss the ideas we learned. She was also able to use her booklet to help tell her dad about nocturnal animals later that day.