Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#459. What Animal Am I?

Science, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Jun 11 13:19:34 PDT 1998 by Barb Walker and Carolyn Roberts (
Hudson Community Schools, Hudson, USA
Materials Required: computer with internet access, project handout, floppy disk, book binding supplies
Activity Time: one week of 45 minute class sessions
Concepts Taught: Invertebrates

What Animal Am I?

Animal Riddles

1. What animals do you need to make a square?

2. What can you do if you are surrounded by lions, tigers, leopards, and bears?

(To find the answers continue reading)


In the previous unit, we have been studying different phylum such as mollusk, arthropods, segmented worms, echinoderms, flat worms, sponges, cnidarians, and round worms. Discuss with the person sitting to your left a characteristic of each and an example that would fit into that phyla. I will do the first one for you: mollusk -
soft-bodied animal - squid.

Today we are going to experience a learning adventure that will introduce you to different characteristics of invertebrates. Your text defines invertebrates as an "animal that has a skeletal system inside its body." Let's brainstorm as many animals that fit this definition and list them on the chalkboard.

The Task

You will be conducting a search that will investigate invertebrates. We will be using library materials, animal CD-ROMS, electronic data bases, and the Internet.

1) You will read and work through this exploration as a team that I assign.

2) You will increase your researching abilities.

3) You will present information about the animal you research to your classmates.

4) Your classmates will try to identify the animal you selected by the clues you offer during your presentation.

5) You will publish and illustrate your data to complete a classroom book that will be placed in the library for others to check out.

6) You will review what you have learned from this activity, and the class will construct a definition of an invertebrate and the characteristics they posses.


Encyclopedias, National Geographic CD-ROM :Animals, San Diego Zoo CD-ROM, Grolier's Electronic Encyclopedia CD-ROM, SIRS database, Electric Library, as well as your textbook. Be sure to check your patron catalog in the library for animal books (590's in the non-fiction section). Videos available for viewing from the AEA7 agency.

Internet Site worth visiting on the Netscape Web Browser:


Birmingham Zoo(
Electronic Zoo(
Amazing Animals on the Disney Channel (

The Process

Part 1

1. You will find a piece of paper taped to the right of your computer. Place your name at the top right hand corner of your paper.

2. You will see a floppy disk ready to be inserted into the computer. Carefully push the disk all the way in and wait for the picture of the disk to appear on the desktop.

3. The disk is labeled Invertebrates. Click on the disk picture twice.

4. Click twice on the file labeled Internet web site on the computer. The next screen you will see has a file entitled Birmingham Zoo and click twice. You are now on the Internet. Birmingham Zoo is a web site that will help you complete your research.

5. Scroll down until you see Visit the Animals. Click once on Visit the Animals. Choose one of the sixty animals listed and write the name of the animal you chose on the paper to your right.

6. Click on the animal you select and read the information listed below the animals picture.

7. On the paper that has your name, write one interesting fact about your animal that fits the invertebrate definition that we discussed earlier.

8. At my direction, please more one computer station to your left. This student is using the same Internet web site, but may have chosen a different animal.

9. Read that animal information, and write one fact one their sheet that has not already been listed.

10. You will continue this process until you have added one different fact to each of your team members data.

* If you are reading the directions carefully, the answer to riddle number one is "Lions - four of them."

Part 2

1. You should end at the computer where you started. Complete the attached "Evaluation of a Web Site" worksheet with your teammates. Hand the evaluation sheet in to your teacher.

2. Shut down your computer and remove the floppy disk. Return the disk to your teacher.

Part 3

1. Brainstorm a team definition and characteristics of what the term invertebrate means to you and your teammates.

2. Take your fact sheet and write a descriptive paragraph using the facts that you and your teammates have assembled without naming the animal. If you don't have enough information use the Resources listed above to complete this activity.

An example: I am a relative of the weasel and I share that animals thick fur which insulates me during the icy winters. I am a natural swimmer but I can live on dry land. I am a carnivore because fish is my main source of food. I have been placed on the Endangered Species list, but last spring six of my relatives were released at George Wyth State Park in Waterloo, Iowa. What animal am I?

Part 4

1. Read your paragraph to the class and see how many guesses it takes for your classmates to determine which animal you are describing.

2. Which team gave the best descriptions?

3. What made their descriptions better?

* If you are reading the directions carefully, the answer to riddle number two is "jump off the merry-go-round."

Part 5

1. We are going to construct a book for the library that will be available for check out.

2. Revise and rewrite your description.

3. Get a piece of paper from your teacher. At the top of your paper, write: What Animal Am I?

4. Copy your revision onto this piece of paper as neatly as possible.

5. On the back of the same piece of paper, neatly illustrate your animal and sign your name.

6. Hand your final copy to your teacher so a class book can be assembled.


Your evaluation will consist of the following component:

1. Your final page for the book will be evaluated by a rubric.


Congratulations! We have all just learned about invertebrates. We can define and name characteristics of several different types of invertebrates. To do this, we have researched using a variety of resources including the Internet and we have constructed a book for the library so others may learn from our experiences.

I have one last riddle that involves four invertebrates:
What kind of people do deer, cows, chickens and turkeys like best?

* The answer to the final riddle is "vegetarians."