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UK WILDLIFE

Resources to develop children's observational skills and encourage thinking and talking about wildlife in the UK

The resources on this webpage are designed to increase children's awareness of the wide variety of animals, plants and fungi that can be found in the UK. There are several card games and activities to promote discussion suitable for children from 3 to 11 years.

You might like to use these resources before taking children outside to explore their natural environment or as a follow-on activity when you have been outside.

Animals

The following resources (suitable for children from 3 to 11 years) are intended to develop children's subject knowledge of the names and the features of animals typically found in parks, gardens, fields and hedgerows in the United Kingdom. The resources are also designed to develop children's observational skills and scientific literacy through group talk.

Animal Dominoes

Suitable for small groups of children (ages 3-7).

Learning outcome: children will become familiar with the appearance and features of different types of animals (some insects, birds and mammals).

There are 28 picture dominoes. Adults will need to prepare the cards for each game in advance but once made, these can be used many times. While playing the game, encourage children to talk about the features and body parts of the different animals. The names of the animals are given in the Teacher Guidance.

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Animal Dominoes

Picture dominoes showing 7 animals commonly seen in Britain.

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Who am I?

Suitable for one child, a small group or the whole class (ages 3-7).

Learning outcome: children start to recognise the features of common animals and name some of them.

This is a slideshow. On each slide there are 3 shapes partly covering an animal. Encourage children to notice special features of the animal (e.g. fur or feathers) and its habitat which might help them to identify what is hiding. Remove the shapes one at a time to reveal the hidden animals. The names of the animals are given in the slidenotes.

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Who Am I?

Slideshow - Who am I?

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Wildlife Faces

Suitable for one child or small groups of children (ages 3-7).


Learning outcome: children will develop their observational skills (they will need to look very closely at the colour and shape of the faces, the eyes and the ears).

There are 12 images of animal faces. Each face should be cut in half to make 24 cards in total. Adults will need to prepare the cards for each game in advance but once made, these can be used many times. The names of the animals are given in the Teacher Guidance.

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Wildlife Faces

Card game - Can you match the faces?

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Paired Pictures for Talk

This resource is suitable for a small group or a whole class and could be used with children in Early Years (ages 3-5), KS1 (ages 5-7) or KS2 (ages 7-11). The discussions with the children should be appropriate to the age and ability of the children. For example:

  • very young children (ages 3-5) may notice similarities and differences in the colour and shape of the animals,
  • children (ages 5-7) may identify features such as wings, beak, fur, feathers, antennae,
  • older children (ages 7-11) using their knowledge of living things and their habitats, could give reasons for similarities or differences in appearance or behaviour and comment on how the animal is suited to live in its habitat.

Learning outcome: children can identify similarities and differences between two animals.

There are two Paired Pictures slideshows and both are available as a screen or print version. Detailed information about the characteristics of each of the animals shown is given. This is intended to support teachers' subject knowledge. We are not suggesting that all children should be taught all these facts.

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Paired Pictures - Animals

Screen version

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Paired Pictures - Animals

Print version

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Paired Pictures - Birds

Screen version

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Paired Pictures - Birds

Print version

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Wildlife Odd One Out

This resource could be used with children in KS1 or KS2 (ages 5-11). The vocabulary used and subject knowledge discussed will depend on the ages and ability of the children. For a similar Odd One Out slideshow for children in Early Years (ages 3-5), please visit our Play, Observe and Ask (EYFS) webpage.

Learning outcome: children can identify similarities and differences between different animals.

Suitable for a small group or whole class.

There are 4 slideshows. Detailed information about running the Odd One Out activity and possible reasons for being the Odd One Out are provided for the teacher. This is intended to support teachers' subject knowledge. How much of this is shared with children should depend on the age and ability of the children. Remember, there is no wrong answer here!

For more information about Odd One Out, please visit our Bright Ideas webpage.

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Odd One Out - Animals

This slideshow includes 5 groups of vertebrates (birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians) and some invertebrates (insects and worms) connected by a possible theme - Life cycles, Skin coverings, Spots, Skeletons, Feet.

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Odd One Out - Mammals

This slideshow includes 5 groups of mammals connected by a possible theme - Nocturnal, Ears, Diet, Feet, Antlers.

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Odd One Out - Birds

This slideshow includes 5 groups of birds connected by a possible theme - Beak shape, Necks, Nocturnal, Beak colour, Singing.

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Odd One Out - Invertebrates

This slideshow includes 5 groups of invertebrates (insects, worms, spiders and crustacean) connected by a possible theme - Wings, Legs, Diet, Pollinators, Colonies.

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Plants & Fungi

The following resources (suitable for children from 3 to 11 years) are intended to develop children's subject knowledge of the names and the features of plants and fungi typically found in parks, gardens, fields and hedgerows in the United Kingdom. The resources are also designed to develop children's observational skills and scientific literacy through group talk.

You might like to use these resources before taking children outside to explore their natural environment or as a follow-on activity when you have been outside. Please scroll down the the page to download the resources.

Paired Pictures for Talk

This resource is suitable for a small group or a whole class and could be used with children in Early Years, KS1 or KS2. The discussions with the children should be appropriate to the age and ability of the children. For example:

  • very young children (ages 3-5) may notice similarities and differences in the colour and shape of the plants or fungi,
  • children (ages 5-7) may identify features such as leaves, stem or flowers,
  • older children (ages 7-11) using their knowledge of living things and their habitats, could give reasons for similarities or differences in appearance and comment on how the plant or fungus is suited to live in its habitat.

Learning outcome: children can identify similarities and differences between two plants or fungi.

This slideshow is available as a screen or print version. Detailed information is given about the characteristics of each of the plants and fungi shown. This is intended to support teachers’ subject knowledge. We are not suggesting that all children should be taught all these facts.

pdf

Paired Pictures - Plants & Fungi

Screen version

DOWNLOAD

pdf

Paired Pictures - Plants & Fungi

Print version

DOWNLOAD

Wildlife Odd One Out

This resource could be used with children in KS1 or KS2 (ages 5-11). The vocabulary used and subject knowledge discussed will depend on the ages and ability of the children. For a similar Odd One Out slideshow for children in Early Years (ages 3-5), please visit our Play, Observe and Ask (EYFS) webpage.

Learning outcome: children can identify similarities and differences between a group of plants or fungi.

Suitable for a small group or whole class.

There is one slideshows. Detailed information about running the Odd One Out activity and possible reasons for being the Odd One Out are provided for the teacher. This is intended to support teachers' subject knowledge. How much of this is shared with children should depend on the age and ability of the children. Remember, there is no wrong answer here!

For more information about Odd One Out, please visit our Bright Ideas webpage.

pdf

Odd One Out - Plants

This slideshow includes 6 groups of images connected by a possible theme - Plant or Fungi, Flower shapes, Does it grow on a tree? Stinging leaves, Parts of a tree, Blossom / Seasons.

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Mammals' Skulls & Teeth

The following resources (suitable for ages 5-11) are designed to encourage children to think about the links between structure and function and how particular features of animals enable them to survive. They also develop children's subject knowledge of different mammals living in Britain, and promote children's science vocabulary and scientific literacy through group talk.

There are six slideshows, each featuring one mammal: a badger, deer, fox, hedgehog, rabbit and squirrel.

Each slideshow introduces a series of questions about the external features of the animal. The questions encourage the children to observe the picture closely and consider why the animal has particular features. The slideshows can be used flexibly and the discussions with the children can be pitched as appropriate for the developmental stage of the children.

  • What do we know about.....?
  • What can we learn by looking carefully at it?
  • How does the mammal keep safe from being eaten by predators?

Each slideshow also shows images and sizes of mammals' skulls and teeth and encourages children to compare these. Using the images, older children could describe the similarities and differences between the features of the skulls and teeth.

Possible learning outcomes:

  • identify and name some mammals commonly seen in Britain
  • describe and compare the features of a variety of common mammals
  • identify and give examples of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores
  • describe how animals are suited to the habitat in which they live
  • describe a simple food chain
  • identify different features of a mammalian skull and describe their purpose
  • identify different types of teeth in mammals and their simple functions
  • use secondary sources (images and/or data) to compare features of mammalian skulls
  • identify how animals are adapted to suit their environment in different ways

Note: the slideshows are available both as PowerPoints (with interactive functions) and PDFs.

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Badger PowerPoint

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Deer PowerPoint

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Fox PowerPoint

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Hedgehog PowerPoint

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Rabbit PowerPoint

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Squirrel PowerPoint

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pdf

Badger PDF

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Deer PDF

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Fox PDF


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Hedgehog PDF

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Rabbit PDF

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Squirrel PDF

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Acknowledgements

The UK Wildlife resource banner, displayed at the top of this page, was taken and is ©Andrei Tselichtchev.

All of the images throughout the downloadable UK Wildlife resource were taken by and are ©Susanna Ramsey. We are extremely grateful to Susanna for providing these images and detailed information about the wildlife.

If you would like to see more similar wildlife images you might be interested in The Nature Collection - an extraordinary collection of animal bones, skeletons, feathers, antlers, skins and photographs that was created by Susanna Ramsey. Photographs of some of the exhibits in the collection can be found here. For activity packs and other teaching resources on local wildlife, created by The Nature Collection and TTS, visit the Resources page of the Nature Collection's website, which can be found here.

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