January 2009


Basic Needs
(Tune: “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”)

Air,              (Wiggle fingers in front of you.)
Water,        (Make the sign for “W” and put it by your mouth.)
Food and  (Pretend to feed self.)
Shelter, too.               (Make a triangle with hands over your head.)
Air, water, food and shelter, too.
All animals have the same basic needs.
And that includes you and me!          (Point to self and then a friend.)

Little ant, what do you need?            (Hold up index finger and look at it
Little ant, what do you need?              as if there is a little ant on the end.)
Air, water, food, and shelter, too
That’s what a little ant needs.
Manatee what do you need…          (Put hands by sides and stick out
                                                                   palms like flippers.)
Elephant what do you need…           (Extend one arm from your face
                                                                   like a trunk.)
Boys and girls what do you need? (Open palms as if asking a question.)
Air, water, food, and shelter, too.
All animals have the same basic needs.


• Use a Venn diagram to illustrate how human beings are alike and different from other animals.

• Make a flipbook by folding a sheet of paper in half lengthwise. Fold into fourths and then into eighths. Open and cut down the three slits to the middle crease. Fold in half to make flips. Write “air,” “water,” “food,” and “shelter” on each of the four sections. Have children chose different animals and then illustrate the four categories.


• Make a T-chart of wants and needs. Discuss how you often see things on television or in a catalog that you want… but do you really need them? Let children cut out pictures from old magazines and newspapers and glue each item under the appropriate category.

• Go on an animal safari around your school or at a local park. Make a list of all the animals that you find on your safari when you return to the classroom. Discuss the basic needs of the different animals.

• Set up a bird feeder near your classroom window and observe. Provide children with binoculars and a bird book so they can identify the different birds that come to feed.

• Make bird feeders by stringing “o” shaped cereal on a pipe cleaner. Twist the end to make a ring that you can hang on branches or bushes.

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