To learn about desert animals start by talking about some of the features of a desert. Make a list together of things and conditions you might find in the desert. Older kids should come having read a book or two on deserts first. You can also read aloud a book or a few pages of a book on deserts to younger kids.
Next look at a map of where the major deserts of the world are found or color your own map.
Desert Animals Craft
Now talk about two desert animals in particular. We picked two animals from the Sonoran Desert in America, the Arizona coral snake and the kangaroo rat. Make a paper chain snake. On each of the yellow and red sections of the snake’s body write a fact about the Sonoran desert or deserts in general. When you put the snake chain together be careful to get the pattern correct. There are copycat snakes that look similar but have a different pattern. Add a forked tongue and draw on eyes with a white crayon. Then make a little paper chain Kangaroo rat from two shorter strips of paper (half the length, but the same width as the snake papers). Add ears, a tail and draw on eyes and a nose.
- It has a black head and then stripes in this order: yellow, black, yellow, red, yellow, black, yellow, red, yellow, black . . . etc. The black and red stripes never touch on the true coral snake.
- It is the most venomous snake in the Sonoran desert.
- The coral snake is shy and hard to find so it rarely bites people.
- It comes out only at night to hunt in the cool.
- Its favorite prey is the blind snake.
- It never needs to drink water. All its moisture comes from the food it eats.
- Seeds are its only diet.
- With powerful hind legs, it jumps just like a kangaroo.
- It is most active at night.
- It has to watch out for owls, lizards, snakes, coyotes, and small cats like the bobcat.
- We chose the snake and rat on purpose because they are predator and prey. You can use them to talk about food chains.
- Talk about patterns with younger kids when you put together the snake.
- Memorize the major deserts and their locations. Write a paragraph or report about one of them.
- Learn about some of the native people who live in the Sonoran Desert, like the Hopi or the Navajo.
- Talk about the concepts of ecosystem and biome.
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