Teacher Feature: Three Year Old Classroom Explores Eric Carle

It’s Teacher Feature Thursday!

This week we are featuring Laura Muniz. This three year old classroom was learning about Eric Carl and Laura decided to spend a week focusing on the animals featured in his books. Below you will find a reflection from Laura and images from her lesson.


What were your topics of exploration?

Some of Eric Carle’s books talk about animals, what they see and what they hear, so we decided to explore animal senses.  For this lesson we wanted to focus on snakes and how they use their tongues to smell.  We went to the Bone Hall at The National Museum of Natural History and checked out some cool snake bones.  We also read Eric Carle’s The Greedy Python.

What were your learning objectives? (What did you want your children to take away from the lesson?)

I wanted the children to learn that animals sometimes experience things differently than humans.  On this day, I wanted to emphasize the distinction between our sense of smell and taste and that of a snake’s.

What was most successful about your lesson?

I think the most successful part of the lesson was the game we played with the small jars with scented cotton balls inside. The kids took turns using their nose to smell, trying to guess what the “mystery scent” was.  They then stuck out their tongues, the way a snake would, to see if they could smell with their tongues.  The activity not only allowed the kids to engage with the lesson, it was also lots of fun!

What could you have done differently? What recommendations would you have for another teacher trying out this lesson?

We were talking about snakes, so naturally we went to the Bone Hall to check out some snakes and other reptile bones.  Unfortunately, the space in the Bone Hall is a little awkward because it is a popular thorough fare to other exhibits. I feel like I could have also done this lesson outdoors or even at the Zoo.


Here are a few images from their unit on snakes:

DSCN2424Laura began her lesson at the National Museum of Natural History. She read Eric Carle’s The Greedy Python and asked the group about what they knew about snakes. Laura then asked the group to compare the image of the snake in the book to the ones in the case explaining that we were seeing the skeleton of a snake.

DSCN2432Laura then asked the group what part of our body we use to smell. The group was quick to respond and Laura followed up by asking about the snake’s sense of smell. She explained that snakes use their tongues to taste the air around them instead of smelling with a nose.

DSCN2434Laura invited friends to try smelling the bottles first with their nose and then with their tongue.

DSCN2439Laura added the extra challenge of having the children try to guess the scent in the bottle. They had such a great time working together to try and figure out the scents!

DSCN2455Before heading back to the classroom, Laura invited the friends to take a closer look at the skeletons. They compare the different sizes of the snakes and their bones.

This class had a wonderful time learning about Eric Carle! Be sure to check back for our Teacher Feature next week!