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RZSS Education

Fur, Feathers, Skin & Scales

Age Suitability: P1 - P3

Availability: Edinburgh Zoo

Duration of lesson: 50 minutes

Maximum Class Size: 33

Lesson Outline:

A hands-on introduction to sorting animals by observing similarities and differences; the basis of animal classification. Children will have the chance to handle a snake, and a mammal (rat or guinea pig), as well as meeting a frog and a bird, as we observe the differences in body coverings between the five vertebrate groups (mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish). The lessons end with a mystery encounter, encouraging children to use their knowledge of body covering to come to a decision about the identity of an unknown animal.

This session does not include a walkabout tour in the Zoo.


Learning Outcomes:

  • To appreciate the diversity of living things.
  • To sort vertebrates into five family groups according to body covering.
  • To interact with and observe live animals, showing consideration for their well-being.

Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes:

  • HWB 0-48a ‘I recognise that we have similarities and differences but are all unique.’
  • SOC 0-17a ‘I make decisions and take responsibility in my everyday experiences and play, showing consideration for others.’
  • SOC 0-08a ‘I explore and appreciate the wonder of nature within different environments and have played a part in caring for the environment.’
  • SCN1-01a ‘I can distinguish between living and non living things. I can sort living things into groups and explain my decisions.’
  • SCN 2-01a ‘I can identify and classify examples of living things, past and present, to help me appreciate their diversity. I can relate physical and behavioural characteristics to their survival or extinction.’