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Montessori Zoology: DIY 6-9 Animal Stories & Cards

Photo by Lisa Nolan
The Montessori elementary zoology Animal Story Cards make a fun card game using cards that you can make or buy at a Montessori supplier (with the elementary materials and or earth sciences materials).
One side of the card has a picture of an animal.

Photo by Lisa Nolan
The other side has a short description told like a little story.

Photo by Lisa Nolan
1. Have all the cards in a pile with the pictures face down, (if you have many children, this can be done in a circle or small group with everyone taking a turn to read a card out loud).

2. Read the first card aloud (and do not peek at the picture)!

3. The other children try to guess which animal it is. If a child is doing this alone, she tries to guess what the animal is before turning the card over.

Below are the Montessori animal stories (for the study of the First Knowledge of the Animal Kingdom). Go here to my other blog post for where to buy affordable zoology materials.


Has no leg, but many vertebrae which help it to slither along. It has

a large mouth with which it gorges huge prey without masticating, and

later it digests it slowly. Those which live In Europe sleep

(hibernate) in the winter, while those which live in warm countries sleep during

summer. Do you know what it is called?



I live in the arctic waters with many of my companions, but really I am

a mammal. My fur is covered with an oil so that water can’t penetrate

my body, and when I go in the water I can close my eyes and nostrils.

I also entertain children in the zoo and in the circus. What am I




It has long, pointed wings which make it an excellent flier. It also

makes a special sound called a “coo”. It eats grains but nourishes its

young with a special liquid food it prepares in its crop (def: a pouch

which stores and prepares food for digestion in grain eating birds).



Belongs to the family of songbirds, the little birds which cheer up our

lives with their song. He is tiny with minuscule legs and four toes,

three of them protruding in front, one in back. Frequently builds his

nest on the turrets of country houses. Do you know its name?



It is the king of birds a well as the national bird of many nations.

It lives on mountain peaks and nests in hidden, inaccessible places. It

has a fierce look, large wingspread and long toes with sharp talons.

Do you know what it is called?



Has a long tail. It s skin is yellow and black and shiny. It is found

in the grass after rains. It does not like the heat. Do you know

what it is called?



Do I have to introduce myself? I’m not such a nice fellow. When I am

born I start out as a maggot living on decaying things. Then when I

become an insect with wings, I fly around, often carrying germs with me.

Maybe it would be better if I didn’t exist.



The bird has four toes, two anterior and two posterior, which help it

to cling to trees; and strong pointed peaks in order to dig out insect

larvae from the tree trunks. It is a very useful bird, do you know what

it is called?



This fish may be as long as nine feet. They are caught very much in

Sicily where the places are called tonnare. The meat is good to eat and

we find it canned.



I live attached to the rock but not alone because of my sisters keep me

company. My body is full of holes through half of which the water

with food enters my body, and so I am being nourished. When I am dead I

serve to wash your face. What is my name?



My color is brown. I was the first insect to appear on the earth. In

the daytime I hide and at night I come out in search of food around old

kitchens. Wherever I am, people try to destroy me without success.

I’ve been around for millions of years.



It is the largest living bird but cannot fly. For this reason it has

very small lungs but very large and strong legs that make it a very fast

runner. It also has only two toes on each foot. The legs and neck

are very long, making it the tallest of all birds. The feathers are

called plumes and are highly prized by man.



I don’t live alone but with many, many companions in a big hive which

has many little cells. I nourish myself with the nectar of flowers and

with it I prepare our food for the winter – which you too like very

much because it is sweet, sweet. What is my name?



I am very similar to a horse. I have a beautifully striped coat. I

live in Africa. I am the fastest runner. My nails are enormous and are

called hooves.



My body is protected by a very hard shell. I have two big claws and

eight legs which can be used for walking forwards and backwards. If one

of my legs is lost, I can even grow another. I’m so good to eat, many

people like to catch me. What am I called?



This unusual animal resembles both mammals and birds; mammals because

it gives mile to its young and has fur like a beaver, and yet it has a

wide bill and webbed feet like a duck. It lives near the water in

Australia and Tasmania.



Has four legs, the two posterior ones are very strong enabling it to

jump and what’s more, to climb up on a leaf and stay on it taking a rest.

It has a slimy, naked skin. Its young are different from mama and

are called tadpoles. Do you know what it is?



I live in the trees where I find all that is necessary to feed and

defend myself. I have long arms and legs with hands and a prehensile tail

which I can use as an extra hand. For this reason I can swing and jump

easily from one tree to another. I know how to play and do

somersaults, too.



I have two lives. For a long time I am a caterpillar

eating leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds. Later, I construct a little

case with two walls which is called cocoon. From this I emerge with a new

dress, more beautiful than velvet and silk, and four magnificent

wings. What’s my name?



I have two magnificent transparent wings, like to fly over ponds and

pools, and nourish myself with insects. I don’t eat much but I do eat a

lot of mosquitoes. Do you know my name?



I look like a star, but I’m not. I even have a mouth and with my

strong arms, I can open a clam underwater and eat it. If I loose an arm, I

can even regrow it. When I die and dry out you can find and collect me

along the beach. Do you know what I am called?



The skin of this animal is covered with leathery scales that are horny

and ridged along the back. It has a long, flat head with strong jaws

and numerous, sharp teeth. Short, sturdy legs allow it to move rapidly

on land while its massive tail is used for a rudder and makes it a

string swimmer. It lives in war, moist climates, and when the rivers are

dry, it hibernates.



It is a migratory bird who in winter goes to Africa in search of

warmth. It feeds itself on insects which it finds in the water, and for this

reason it has a long, tapering bill and long, slender legs. It builds

its nest near water but very high up, such as treetops or chimney




Has a body completely covered with shiny scales. It has four short

legs and a long tail and likes to wander on sunny walls. If he is taken

by his tail, he can abandon it and the tail will grow again. In the

water he hibernates.



I am so tiny that you can’t even see me with your naked eye. And yet

there are so many of us that all together we can form mountains. My

body is made up of many rays, so for this reason I am called…?



I have a special pocket in front called a pouch, in which I carry

around my young. As you see, I can sit back on my hind legs and tail, and

instead of walking I move around by jumping and leaping with my strong

hind legs. And now, what am I called?



With my feet and my mouth I construct a magnificent web which is called

spider’s web. In this the flies and mosquitoes become entangled –

therefore you shouldn’t destroy me. Remember that I am useful to you. Do

you know my name?



Many believe that I am a fish, but really I am a mammal. In fact I am

the largest animal in the world and can weigh as much as 150 tons. As

you see, I have a very large mouth and my nostrils are on the top of my

head, so that when I breathe I form a spout of steam in the air.



I have a long, beautiful mane and tawny brown skin. I range over

plains, deserts or hilly country, sleeping by day and hunting by night. They

call me the king of the jungle. I am very strong and when someone

makes me angry, I roar. Do you know what I am called?



It is a very useful bird to man and was first domesticated a very long

time ago in Asia. It has three strong front toes that are used for

scratching about, and a back toe placed high up. The male has a “comb” on

his head, beautiful plumage and tarsi (heels) complete with spurs.


It belongs to the family of web-footed animals because the three front

toes are connected by a membrane, and for this reason it is a good

swimmer. Above its tail is an oil sack which it uses its bill to spread

oil on the feathers to keep them dry. The make has beautifully colored




I am beautiful. I look like a bride with a huge veil that keeps me

afloat In the middle of the sea. I am so pretty that you always want to

take me in your hands. But be careful because I sting like a nettle.

Do you know what I am called?



I belong to the family of rodents because four of my incisors (teeth)

are made to gnaw otherwise they keep on growing. Therefore I beg you to

always give me something to gnaw, or I’ll become ill. My fur is

beautiful and soft. Do you know what I am called?



Has a strong shell that covers its whole body, and even support a

child. This carapace has openings for the head, legs and tail which are

usually covered with scales. It nourishes itself with large quantities of

insects as well and land and aquatic plants. There are no teeth in

its mouth, but its jaws cut like scissors. Do you know what it is




Is a large mammal who lives in the water along the coat of India,

nourishing itself on algae. Do you know the legend of the mermaids

whose singing caused the sailors to shipwreck? Perhaps the ancients

were referring to this animal whose upper body part resembles ours and

whose lower part resembles that of a fish. The sound that it emits is like

a song and it appears only at night.



This animal lives especially in the northern seas. However, in the

spring it goes upstream in the river to deposit its eggs. The river

richest in this fish is the Volga, which is found in Russia. The eggs are

excellent and sold as caviar.



Like all fish, I live only in water and have changed little in millions

of years. My fins are large and wing-like and I have gill slits on

each side of my head. I am a very voracious eater with sharp teeth and

both man and animal fear me. Do you know what I am?



I’m not beautiful but I’m a great help to anyone who cultivates the

land. I dig out long tunnels in the soil and then I leave it lighter and

better than before. For this reason, even if I’m not pretty don’t ever

kill me but learn my name instead.



During the day I sleep and will awake only after sundown to fly away in

search of food. I have wings, yet I am not a bird. I have no bed to

sleep in but I suspend myself from the rocks and rafters by hold on

with my toes. During winter I withdraw into caves and pass the cold time

by sleeping. Tell my name.



I have many feet but really many, and I run underground. Do you know

my name?



I want you to know that my life is very complicated. Fro three years I

live underground in the form of a little worm eating the roots of

plants. Then I construct a little case and sleep in it for a while. And

then, finally, I am born a second time with beautiful ruddy wings, and I

fly around trees in the month of May.



I am very plentiful in all seas and particularly along the Atlantic

shore line where I bury myself in holes along the beach. Sometimes you

can see my holes at low tide, or collect my empty shells. I am very good

for making soups and chowders. Do you know what I’m called?



Is a fish having a body similar to that of an eel, with dark designs

standing out on this grey coloring. It is about 3 feet long,

carnivorous, and found in the swamps of Africa. During the dry season, it lives

buried in the mud and breathes by means of a swim bladder that functions

like our lungs.



I choose to live by night because I don’t like the light. I’m not

blind but by eyes are very tiny. I live underground in burrows with long

tunnels which I dig out with my strong, curved front feet. I feed on

insects that I find in the ground.



This mammal belongs to the family of edentates which, instead of teeth,

have long snouts, and long sticky tongues. It nourishes itself only

with ants it catches with its long, sticky tongue. It is found in

Africa and South America.

(The stories are from my Montessori elementary training and album.)


Looking for affordable Montessori and homeschool lessons? Visit my website Montessori for the Earth: affordable Montessori for birth to age nine. 

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