Animals and Their Coverings
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Sorensen, Beverly Darwin School
To review and recall information about invertebrates and vertebrates, cold-blooded
and warm-blooded animals and their coverings.
Equipment and Materials
Pictures of animals with an answer sheet
Invertebrates and vertebrates (live, preserved or models, and coverings of animals
such as scales, shells, feathers and fur)
Overhead projector with selected pictures of invertebrates and vertebrates to
1. Show a display of various animals and animal coverings allowing the students to
observe as well as handle the material as they come into class.
2. Review cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals - what does cold-blooded mean? Have a
student write the meaning on the board. Do the same for warm-blooded. Hold up a
frog, a salamander, and a fish, while at the same time asking the class whether
they are cold-blooded or warm-blooded. Discuss humans as warm-blooded animals. Re-
read the definitions from the board.
3. Review invertebrates and vertebrates by tracing the backbones of skeletons of man,
a frog, a snake, a giraffe, a bird, and a fish, while each of these objects is
being projected on the overhead projector.
4. Show preserved animals such as crayfish, grasshopper, starfish; also pictures
and/or skeleton of a horse, a polar bear, a snake or a giraffe. Have the students
determine which of these animals are invertebtates and vertebrates.
5. Discuss animal coverings - have the students obtain animal coverings from the
display. Ask: In what way does the animal use this particular covering? Of what is
the animal covering made? (Suggested type of coverings - fur, feather, scale,
smooth, spiny, hard or soft.)
6. Play a game using pictures of animals and answer sheets. Each station will have a
picture of an animal, with a number on the back of each picture and an answer
sheet. Students will have a time limit in which which to answer the questions,
follow the directions and move to the next station.
Procedure: The leader explains the movement from station to station. Pupils
will note the number, turn the picture over and answer letters A, B, C on the
answer sheet. After 30 seconds the leader will call stop, the students place the
picture face down and move to the right to the next station. At the signal to
start the students begin answering the same questions for the next picture. This
will continue until the students have completed all the pictures. Questions on
each answer sheet for each number:
A. Is the animal cold-blooded or warm-blooded? Write C or W
B. Is the animal an invertebrate or a vertebrate? Write I or V
C. What is the type of body covering of the animal (fur, feather, scale, smooth,
spiny, hard or soft)?
Use a transparency on the overhead projector to discuss the answers. After the
students have corrected their answer sheets:
A. Search the answers to find and note the animals with fur and the animals with
B. Ask: Are any of these animals warm-blooded? What does warm-blooded mean?
Anticipated answer: The body temperature stays more or less the same no
matter how hot or cold the outside temperature.
C. Search the answer sheets and find all the invertebrates. Discuss: Are all of
these animals warm-blooded or cold-blooded? Anticipated answer: all
invertebrates are cold-blooded. Review the meaning of cold-blooded.
Anticipated answer: cold-blooded animals take on the temperature of their
Do the following exercise using a 5 x 8 inch envelope made from cheesecloth and
filled with feathers, a bucket of ice and your hands:
1. Hold the envelope with the feathers on your hand, and at the same time insert
both into the bucket of ice. Note: be sure the feathers are between your hand
and the ice!
2. Insert your hand in the ice bucket without the ice. Did the feathers keep your
hand from getting cold? Discuss how the feathers of birds are used as
insulation against the cold. Do the the same exercise using fur.
How do you think these types of coverings effect the body temperature of warm-
blooded animals? Do warm-blooded animals need extra protection for cold
Discuss: Animals grow extra thick fur in the winter and shed their fur in the
summer. Birds molt or lose their feathers in the summer and fluff their feathers in
the winter to keep their body temperature even. Humans wear layers of clothing in the
winter to keep their body temperature even.
Life Magazine, National Geographic, National Wildlife,
International Wildlife, Outdoor Life, Scientific American,
Smithsonian, Zoobooks, and Children and Science
Field Museum of Natural History, Harris Center - 922-94l0 Ex. 352
Chicago Academy of Sciences, Lincoln Park Zoo - 935-6700
Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium - 939-2438
Chicago Public Library, Science/Tech. Info.-269-2865
American Science Center - preserved animal specimens -763-0313
Chicago Teachers Center - picture laminating -478-2506
The Learning Tree - 44l9 N. Ravenswood - charts on morphology of animals -769-