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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
These zoo themed kindergarten activities are the perfect way for your kindergarten students to independently practice their letter recognition skills while playing a fun “feed the monkey” kindergarten BOOM cards deck on their devices.
Animals always hold a special place in the hearts of kindergarten students. For some, they love to talk about their own pets (both real and dreamed of!), while for others it’s the idea of exotic animals coming to life, like zebras, lions and monkeys. It makes sense, therefore, to look out for activities which combine academic skills and wild animals.
What Are BOOM cards?
Kindergarten BOOM cards rose dramatically in their popularity during the global pandemic as kindergarten teachers across the country scrambled for ways to engage students in remote learning. They are usually designed as a series of multiple choice questions with some fun of students picking the right answer (think of them as an online version of clip cards). They can fit just about any theme, and make for great digital literacy activities for kindergarten as students receive immediate feedback about the answers they’re providing. As a teacher, you can also see all sorts of data, from which questions students are working on to trouble spots that your whole class needs to revisit.
Teaching With Kindergarten BOOM cards
It’s common knowledge that gamifying your classroom is the number one way to drive up engagement and long term learning. However, it can be hard to do this in the kindergarten classroom due to short attention spans and not having enough adults to keep all students engaged. This is where BOOM cards, and in particular these zoo themed kindergarten activities, are great tools for gamifying your learning. Try some of these game based digital literacy activities for kindergarten with BOOM cards:
Partner collaboration – kindergarten students always learn best when they can talk and collaborate with another student. You can use these zoo kindergarten BOOM cards to build discussions between partners. Simply log one person, but make it a rule that both students have to agree on the final answer for each card before selecting the answer. If they disagree, then they have to use their words to find the right answer together.
Whole class teams – a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, and it’s essential to help your kindergarten students learn how to win and lose in low stakes environments. Log into your BOOM account on your smartboard and split the class into teams. Show the whole class each BOOM card and have the teams come to the board in turn to answer the question. Make sure all teams celebrate each other’s successes!
Independent challenges – finally, these digital literacy activities for kindergarten are great tools for motivating students to develop their independent learning stamina. You can set up a class board where you show which students have successfully completed all of their zoo themed kindergarten activities and challenge all students to get their name on the board. You could sweeten the deal with the promise of a treat day for the whole class once everyone has mastered their letter recognition BOOM cards.
Like this? Then you’ll love my 10 Zoo Themed Literacy and Math Centers. These easy-prep games will get your students working on math, literacy and fine motor skills.
1) Feed the Giraffe Counting Mat to 20 – Pick a number card and feed the giraffe that any leaves. Use real leaves, playdough pretend leaves, or green pom poms.
2) How Many Animals Write the Room – Students will go around the classroom visiting the “zoo”. When they spot the animals, they will need to count how many there are and write down the number from 1-10 on the recording sheet provided.
3) Zoo Animal Number Puzzle Strips – 5 different types included (1-10, 11-20, skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s).
4) Arrange by Size – Each animal has 4 different sizes for them to arrange from smallest to biggest or biggest to smallest.
5) Shadow Matching Cards – Look at the animal shown and choose from 3 given shadow options.
6) Zoo Animal Alphabet Strips – Work on handwriting and animal vocabulary at the same time. Each lined strip shows the correct capital letter formation plus an animal that starts with that letter.
7) Syllable Count – Students will look at the labeled animal shown and clap out how many syllables are in its name. Use a paperclip, clothespin or wooden peg to mark the answer.
8) Hippo Alphabet Find and Cover – This activity works on letter recognition for both uppercase and lowercase letters.
9) Animal Alphabetical Order – A-Z animal cards are placed inside a brown paper bag or box “cage”. Students will need to pick out 3 cards randomly and arrange them in alphabetical order on the mat.
10) Short Vowel Sloth – Fill in the missing vowel in the CVC words.
Check it out for more ready-to-go fun!
Fun Books For Your Zoo Themed Unit:
Other Animal Printables You’ll Love:
1) Zoo Animal Sight Words Bingo – Use this as a small group literacy center in your classroom to learn pre-primer Dolch sight words.
2) Zoo Animal Number Puzzle Strips – Learn to sequence numbers with these cute puzzles.
3) Farm Animal Find and Cover Letters – Work on letter recognition any time of the year.
4) Count the Chickens – practice counting from 1 to 10 with these clip cards.
5) Bird Theme 3-Part Cards – learn different types of birds in this Montessori-style activity.
6) Rainbow Chameleon Color Sorting – laminate these mats and use them to sort color pompoms.
7) Mr. Alligator’s Shape Bubble Hunt – Spin the wheel then color in a matching shape.
8) Unicorn Ten Frame Mats – make math a little more magical while teaching one-to-one correspondence, counting, and the use of ten frames.
9) Dog Bone Math Game – Count up the bones and solve the simple sums within 10.
10) Animal Alphabet Follow the Letter – 26 pages to learn uppercase letter recognition.
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