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Spring 2: What animals can we see in our books?


Our new topic this half term is all about animals that we see in our books.We started off the topic with an animal dress up day and an animal hunt. We will be lucky enough to have some animals visiting towards the end of the half term.


Weekly challenges:

Week 1 – What animals do I know? What animals do I have at home?

Week 2 – What animals does Brown bear see? (Week 1 writing structure)  

Week 3 – What other animals could brown bear see? (Week 2 writing structure) 

Week 4 – How many animals can I find in this story? (Maths week)

Week 5 – What animals does Buster see on his Grandma's farm?

Week 6 – What animals would you see in the jungle?

Week 7 - Easter Week


Below, you will find the learning objects and skills that we will be covering in class.


Communication and Language:

Key Skills: To use their voice to make sounds to match stories e.g. animal and environmental sounds. To answer simple what and where questions about books. To answer simple how and why questions linked to stories (nursery) To name a range of animals. 


Generally focus on an activity of their own choice and find it difficult to be directed by an adult./  Listen to other people’s talk with interest, but can easily be distracted by other things. Start to say how they are feeling, using words as well as actions./ Listen to simple stories and understand what is happening, with the help of the pictures


Enjoy listening to longer stories and can remember much of what happens. / Understand ‘why’ questions, like: “Why do you think the caterpillar got so fat?”/Know many rhymes, be able to talk about familiar books, and be able to tell a long story.


Physical Development

Key Skills: To draw simple shapes that represent animals. To handle books carefully and turn the pages with control.  To jump, crawl, leap, stamp, run and slitter like animals. 



Gradually gain control of their whole body through continual practice of large movements, such as waving, kicking, rolling, crawling and walking. /Develop manipulation and control./ Explore different materials and tools./ Use large and small motor skills to do things independently, for example manage buttons and zips, and pour drinks. 


Use a comfortable grip with good control when holding pens and pencils./ Show a preference for a dominant hand./ Go up steps and stairs, or climb up apparatus, using alternate feet. / Skip, hop, stand on one leg and hold a pose for a game like musical statues./ Use large-muscle movements to wave flags and streamers, paint and make marks



Personal, social, emotional development

Key Skills: To use emotion words to describe how characters feel. To show different emotions using facial expressions. To discuss their own pets from home. To share their favourite animals. 



Feel strong enough to express a range of emotions. /Notice and ask questions about differences, such as skin colour, types of hair, gender, special needs and disabilities, and so on./ Develop friendships with other children. / Safely explore emotions beyond their normal range through play and stories./  Are talking about their feelings in more elaborated ways: “I’m sad because...” 


 Become more outgoing with unfamiliar people, in the safe context of their setting. / Play with one or more other children, extending and elaborating play ideas. / Talk about their feelings using words like ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘angry’ or ‘worried’./ Begin to understand how others might be feeling.



Key skills: To show an interest in a range of animal books and discuss my favourite ones. 

To select books that have animal characters in them. To create and give meaning to marks that represent different characters from the stories. To orally retell parts of stories in play. 



Have favourite books and seeks them out, to share with an adult, with another child, or to look at alone./ Repeat words and phrases from familiar stories./ Ask questions about the book. Makes comments and shares their own ideas./ Develop play around favourite stories using props./ Enjoy drawing freely. / Add some marks to their drawings, which they give meaning to. For example: “That says mummy.” 


 Understand the five key concepts about print: - print has meaning - the names of the different parts of a book - print can have different purposes - page sequencing - we read English text from left to right and from top to bottom / Engage in extended conversations about stories, learning new vocabulary. /Use some of their print and letter knowledge in their early writing.



Key Skills: To select the correct animal patterns and match them to animals. To represent amounts of objects using marks and drawings. To sing animal number songs. 


Compare amounts, saying ‘lots’, ‘more’ or ‘same’./ Counting-like behaviour, such as making sounds, pointing or saying some numbers in sequence. / Build with a range of resources. / Notice patterns and arrange things in patterns


Say one number for each item in order: 1,2,3,4,5./ Show ‘finger numbers’ up to 5./  Experiment with their own symbols and marks as well as numerals. Solve real world mathematical problems with numbers up to 5./ Compare quantities using language: ‘more than’, ‘fewer than’. / Understand position through words alone – for example, “The bag is under the table,” – with no pointing. / Talk about and identifies the patterns around them.


Expressive arts and design

Key Skills: To construct animal homes building spaces and creating enclosures. To use movements to pretend to be animals.To create animals using junk modelling, using scissors and glue to join and shape. To retell animal stories through role play, using props to support. To be able to sing the song Old McDonald.



Join in with songs and rhymes, making some sounds./ Make rhythmical and repetitive sounds. /Express ideas and feelings through making marks, and sometimes give a meaning to the marks they make./Explore different materials, using all their senses to investigate them./ Make simple models which express their ideas/ Start to develop pretend play, pretending that one object represents another. 


Take part in simple pretend play, using an object to represent something else even though they are not similar./Begin to develop complex stories using small world equipment like animal sets, dolls and dolls houses etc. / Explore different materials freely, in order to develop their ideas about how to use them and what to make./ Draw with increasing complexity and detail, such as representing a face with a circle and including details./ Respond to what they have heard, expressing their thoughts and feelings./  Remember and sing entire songs.


Understanding of the world

Key skills: To discuss the features of animals. To match animals and their habitats e.g. under the sea/farm. To understand what a farm is and the type of animals that live on it.



Repeat actions that have an effect./ Explore materials with different properties./ Explore natural materials, indoors and outside.


Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials./ Explore collections of materials with similar and/or different properties./ Talk about what they see, using a wide vocabulary. / Show interest in different occupations.


Key Vocabulary

Animal names – farm animals, names of bears, zoo animals. 

Happy, sad, cross, unhappy, upset, worried, frightened, scared. 

Pattern, print, claws, teeth, jaws, mane, tail, long, short. 

Colour names (linked to brown bear)


Some of the books that we will be looking at:



Keep checking our latest news for more snap shots of nursery in action!