This unit was created for our group of four and five-year olds. It was a week-long unit on pets. In keeping with the state standards, we thought this would be a fun way to discuss living and non-living things and what they need to survive (or not).
We started by reading "The Best Pet Ever" by Victoria Roberts. Next, we gathered the group together and talked about what we know about living and non-living things. You could also have a discussion with the children about their pets. Do they have one? Two? Do they want some? What do they have/want? Then we asked the kids if they would like to make their own pet rocks (the girl in the story wants a pet and she find all types of objects to serve as pets. eg., balloon, candy wrapper, etc.).
The kids painted their rocks using tempera paints on the first day. When they had dried (day 2) they decorated their rocks with feathers, yarn, goggly eyes, chenille stems, and felt (we helped by attaching the heavier items with a glue gun). We didn't provide much direction except to think about what they wanted their pet to look like.
On day 3 we created homes with recycled boxes. The kids painted them and we used shredded construction paper for the bedding.
Lastly we took pictures of the rocks by themselves and pictures with the kids holding their rocks. These were used to create a bulletin board display. The page in this unit entitled "Our New Pets Rock" was used on the bulletin board. We also asked the kids what they planned to do with their new pet and recorded these answers. Their responses were featured on the bulletin board. The "coloring" page with the photos was included in their end-of-year portfolio.