First we should talk about arctic animals. I prepared photos on my computer to show them to children. We can meet: an arctic fox, an arctic hare, a caribou, a muskox, a penguin, a polar bear, a seal, a snowy owl and a walrus. You might be surprised by the amount of different strange animals, but I think they are very exotic and interesting for children :)
Children get to know how is it possible for these animals to survive in low temperatures and more about their habits and natural habitat. They notice (or I can do it for them) that all of these animals move in a different way, that's why we do a physical activity "Walk like a..." ...polar bear (on four "legs"), penguin (with feel "glued" to each other), seal (laying on a belly, using just hands), arctic hare (jumping like a bunny), snowy owl (waving arms like wings).
I thought about practising fine motor skills by making an owl or a penguin - very easily, without any pattern. Just cut a random shape, looking more or less like a penguin or an owl (out of black or white paper) and draw the rest (or cut another pieces to make a white belly for penguin). The point of this activity is that it doesn't matter if you can cut or you cannot, every shape is a good shape, there might be baby penguins or grandpas owls, it is less stressful for children (they sometimes don't enjoy cutting with a pattern, because they can see it's far from perfection). We can make a gallery of penguins/snowy owls later :)
Another physical activity that I thought of is "Jump on the ice-float!". Children can "swim" around the classroom while the music is playing, but when it stops, they have to jump on the ice-float (a special place marked out with rope or in another way). Those who do it first become Masters of Survival :)
I realised that my children are very good in counting, they can count in English up to 15 (without a mistake!) and some of them even more. That is why I decided to introduce them to addition up to 5 (for a starter), using signs "+" and "=". An exercise for it I called "Add the penguins!" (of course at home you can add ANYTHING!). Children add the penguins standing on two ice-floats. They show on their fingers how many penguins are on the two ice-floats. Then they do the same, but on a worksheet - they have to draw as many dots as many penguins are in two boxes.
Similarly we get to know the hibernating animals. I prepared pictures on my computer, which we can watch and describe. You can see that there are just 5 animals on the pictures. I decided to limit that amount to animals hibernating in Slovakia and I chose only those who are the most popular and which children already should know.
Children get to know how these animals prepare to spend the winter, where they make their hiding-places (lairs, holes and burrows :), what happens when they wake up (some of them wake up few times in winter, eat a little bit and fall asleep again).
As we got to know two groups of animals, we can practise our classification skills. Children see two spots: an ice-float and a bed, on which some animals are sitting. But some animals actually forgot where they should be, children's task is to decide which animal shoud stand on the ice-float and which should go to bed. The same they do on a worksheet.
I prepared for children also a drama activity. Children listen to a story about bears who get surprised by winter and very quickly have to prepare for hibernating. Children act out the story, being in roles of bears. This activity helps to show better our feeling, develops empathy skills and is also a good physical exercise :) it also develops listening skills and understanding English.
Also with hibernating animals we can add. "Add the hedgehogs!" is a parallel activity to "Add the penguins!", just now we're using hedgehogs instead. Children also finish that activity by filling a worksheet, which is a bit more difficult than the one with penguins.
That's what I prepared for Animal Week in a shortcut :) I hope that when I come back from my sick leave I will be able to do some of these things with your children... But don't be afraid, we will add anyway and practise other skills anyway :)
PS. If you want to have some winter-land-animal fun, see this link: http://lolsnaps.com/upload_pic/223.jpg :)
Some useful vocabulary: arctic fox, arctic hare, bear lair, brown bear, burrows, caribou, chamster, fat, fur, groundhog, hedgehog, hibernation, hiding-place, ice-float, muskox, penguin, polar bear, seal, snowy owl, squirrel, to stock up, walrus.