Animal Habitats and the Letter F


This week our Language Group looked at words that start with the letter F. Our Sensory and Fine Motor Groups learned about animal habitats which tied into this month’s Unique Curriculum theme.

Sensory Group—Animal Habitats

UnknownWe started out in the rainforest. Joy twist tied some green garland, curling ribbon, and twisted paper strips to a black umbrella to make the rainforest “canopy”. We added jungle sounds to a voice output device, a water mister, and a stuffed monkey.

Simple idea but very effective—our students were enchanted! We prompted them to activate the voice output device then brought the rainforest over their heads. They got soooo excited when it was their turn!

Pressing the voice output device after cessation of the sounds addresses the math access point of indicating a desire for more of an action or object.

images-200Had to put another picture in…. our students are just so cute!

We couldn’t get the shot but she was using the monkey to

activate the voice output device—could that be any

more adorable 🙂








imagesFrom the rainforest to the arctic tundra!

We used about 5 boxes of instant tapioca granules which look just like snow crystals. They have an interesting, slightly coarse feel. We put in a polar bear and some white felt bunnies which blended into the background—just like they do in the arctic! Our letter A’s being different colors really contrasted well.

This box addresses visual discrimination skills. It also addresses the math access point of one to one correspondence—counting 2 bunnies and 1 polar bear.






images-204Our desert box had the letter D, sand, rocks, snakes,

scorpions, and lizards.

Again lots of opportunities to count things and to

compare the different properties of the

soft sand and hard rocks.






imagesThe forest/woodland box was filled with pine cones,leaves and moss. Since it was a larger box we put in a large letters F and W, along with a variety of little animals to find hidden in it.

Using the finger puppets addresses bilateral coordination as the student places them on their fingers and also finger individuation as they animate the animals.

Comparing the differing colors of the leaves and differing textures the other materials addresses the science access point of comparing objects by observable properties.






imagesWe looked at a soil habitat next (using our coffee grounds for the dirt).

Its strong aroma immediately engages the students! It contained

some spiders, bugs, worms, and centipedes.

Our students loved running their fingers through the soil

and glimpsing the word “soil” taped to the bottom of the box.

Of course, it was also so much fun to pick up and examine all the different bugs to be found hidden in the soil.

Pincer grasps are promoted when picking up the small animals and math access points are addressed when counting them.





Unknown-6Green jello made an excellent swamp habitat for our frogs

and gators!

The cold jello added another sensory dimension and

allowed us to discuss the science access point of

recognizing materials as warm or cold and also the

science access point of recognizing objects that are

identical to each other when counting the frogs.





imagesSome students were a little hesitant to touch this cold and wet material….

…..but others dived right in 🙂










imagesHands were rinsed in our pond habitat. We used

“Into the Wild” body wash from Bath and

Bodyworks—it seemed perfect for our habitat


Grasping skills were promoted while

reaching for the floating fish or ducks.

In addition, one to one correspondence and the

concepts of large and small which are math

access points.




imagesWe finished with some banana scented lotion (yes banana scented lotion, can you believe it!) we found at World Market.

Our students loved the aroma and feeling it rubbed on their arms—or back of the neck, for students who do a lot of hand exploration.

A lovely scent to help us remember all the wonderful animal habitats we visited today.










Fine Motor Group—Animal Habitats


We started as usual by reading Cara’s book and using the voice output device to help read the repetitive line.

On Tuesday we jumped like rainforest monkeys in the sensory room.

What a fun way to get some proprioceptive and vestibular input which is so important for our students to help build body awareness and gross motor skills.







imagesThen we came back to the classroom and began our

art project—-paper plate fish!

We counted out our plates as they were handed out

and we discussed the plates color (white) and

circular shape.

Then we cut out a triangle shape using our adaptive

scissors. Discussing the different shapes addresses

the math access point of recognizing

two-dimensional shapes.




images-7Joy twist tied some bubble wrap to handled pot scrubbers (these things make the best adaptive art tools) and we stamped our fish—lots of fun!









imagesThen we added one great big googlie eye!

Pincer grasp, finger isolation skills are

addressed here in addition to visual

spatial relations and math concepts.







imagesTA DA! Ok, we realize you don’t really see the fish but this was such a great picture we had to put it in. Their TA DA moment if very important to our students as you can see 🙂












imagesOn Thursday we made some turtles.

We started by counting out our poster board turtles and then our

egg carton shells—working on the math access point of rote

counting yet again 🙂

We asked our students to put the shells ON TOP of the turtles,

addressing spatial concepts and eye hand





While the adults hot glued the shells to the bodies, our students put on their paint shirts—working on dressing skills.



imagesThen we painted the little turtles. Using the brushes

gives our students practice with writing tools and

addresses eye hand coordination.

They really got into this!







imagesIsn’t this awesome, our own little pond habitat—

we LOVE it!









Language Group—Letter F

imagesFirst we used our Fingers to operate the Fan—-

which blew air into our Faces.

Can you see that dimple, just too cute 🙂






imagesThen we Found Five Fish with different Features.

YIKES, we didn’t get a picture of all the fish but to give you an idea: a Fantail one from a Fishing game, a Fat ball shaped one, a Felt one, a water squirter that blew Fresh air.

We dropped them into a Fishbowl, addressing eye hand coordination and the math access point of rote counting.

Our Favorite was the Fidgity Fish —it vibrated!








imagesLots of sounds were Found while playing

Cara’s latest sound game.







imagesWe had a Fiesta to say Farewell to

Ms. Robin’s Fabulous intern Julie.








imagesAnd Finished by using a Funnel to help

get the salsa back in the jar.










imagesSome of the F words we Found today!

Join us again for more fun and learning next week, Group by Group.

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