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Panda Theme Preschool Lesson Plan Printable Activities Chinese New Year | Endangered Animals

Themes

Instructions and Suggestions

Materials

Alphabet > Letter PP is for Panda

Animals
>
Mammals >
Bears > Endangered Animals > Giant Panda

Crafts > Giant Panda colors,  numbers | shapes skills addressed during craft assembly

Holidays & Events >
*Jan or FebChinese New Year
*June > Zoo and Aquarium Month
*Dec. 27th > Visit the Zoo Day

Multicultural > China

Online Jigsaw puzzles
Age group:  Older toddlers to early elementary 

The giant panda is revered and a national treasure in its homeland, the country of China in the continent of Asia.  The giant panda is critically endangered, there are approximately only a thousand living in the wild.  

Young children will have fun making an easy and fun craft of a panda and during the process many skills and educational themes can be addressed.  Other printable support materials and links to related activities are provided.   Let's get started.

The panda theme is appropriate for the following themes: Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year), Bears, and Endangered Animals. 

Activity #1: Printable Panda Craft

Select a printable panda craft that is age appropriate.  All you need is a printer, paper or construction paper, glue stick, scissors and something to color with.

Before
craft assembly conduct some of the learning activities suggested for the craft which may include:  
1. Math | Colors: Identifying shapes, colors, counting, sorting and sizing the craft templates.

Skills developed during craft assembly: Scissor cutting and coloring (precursors to handwriting),  problem solving, fine motor skills.

Before or after completing the craft conduct your choice of suggested activities:

Activity 2: Alphabet Activities:  Letter P Panda

1.  Visit detailed Letter P is for Panda activities and printable materials.

Activity 3:  Science & Social Studies > Geography: Learning about the Giant Panda, an Endangered Animal

Science objectives:
* Understand that people need to respect animal and plant life, natural resources and their habitats.

* Identify ways people help protect these living things so that they are not endangered or become extinct.

Science objective:
* Define and understand the terms:
 - extinct:  to die out, there aren't any left alive
 - endangered species: when an animal or plant species is in danger of becoming extinct.
* Identifying an endangered animal:  the giant panda
* Identifying at least one endangered animal in your geographical area: country or region.  Learn a few basic facts about this animal.

Review the external resources and suggested children's picture books below to prepare and expand on the objectives:

Where to start?
Ask children what they know about the giant panda, or if they have seen pictures or read stories that have a panda character.  Ask children if they have heard about endangered animals or extinct animals, and what these terms mean to them. Keep notes of their responses.  

Giant Panda basic facts:
* Giant pandas are bears.
* Pandas are mammals.
* Where do they live?  They live in mountainous bamboo forests in the country of China.  China is part of the continent of Asia (show on a map).  
* What do they eat? In the wild, pandas' main diet is bamboo shoots and their leaves. Bamboo is a plant (a type of grass) that grows in the mountainous and rainy forests where pandas live.  Pandas living in zoos eat bamboo, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots and other yummy nutritious foods.
* About 140+ pandas live in zoos, mostly in China and other zoos around the world.
* Their fur is black and white and perhaps it is to be able to find each other and to camouflage themselves in the cloudy forests.
* We need to take care of pandas, because they are critically endangered (review and define) and could become extinct (review and define).  The people of China and other people around the world are dedicated to protecting the pandas and their habitat, the unique forests where they live. 

External educational resources for additional information, fun facts, and wonderful images of the giant panda:

* Smithsonian National Zoological Park:
  - Panda for Kids: great online and offline printable activities (the activity book is awesome!)
  - Panda Curriculum Guides: comprehensive lesson plans for K - 4 grades, don't miss it!
* Panda Creature Feature at National Geographic:  facts, images, video and more
* Panda Central - San Diego Zoo

Activity > Online Jigsaw Puzzle > Giant Panda
Skill:  Problem solving, bilingual English and Spanish
Here is an online puzzle the children will enjoy with a fun giant panda image.  The default puzzle is 6 pieces.  Click on the change cut button to change shape and number of pieces.

Activity > Books | Literature

Children's picture books about pandas
This is just a sampling of beautifully illustrated books that can help you present the panda and other topics -- your librarian can help you select many more!

Pi-Shu: The Little Panda Ages 4-8

Ping Won't Share Ages 4-8: great for character education, and the topic of sharing

I Will Always Love You (baby-preschool):  Specially appropriate for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day or similar occasion.

Other materials:
Atlas, map or world globe to identify geographical location of pandas

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