Saturday, February 3, 2018

Order Artiodactyla

We are just moving right along in our Zoology 3 course, this week, wrapping up Lesson 9, "Order Artiodactyla."  This is made up of the even-toed ungulates, like cows, deer, antelopes, giraffes, hippos, wildebeests, bison, buffalo, goats, camels, sheep, pigs, llamas, and more.  [Deep inhale.]  There are a lot of even-toed ungulates!
To help you with your own planning, this post contains a lot of video links and literature suggestions, as well as ideas for younger siblings while studying this lesson.

Day 1

We started our study by reading about rumination, the digestion process that these even-toed ungulates go through to digest their food.  We then learned about family Bovidae, reading about domestic bovids, like cows and bulls, as well as wild ones, like gazelles and antelopes. 

This reminded me of an activity we did when Maggie was preschool-aged, when we were learning about cows.  I poured milk into a latex glove to represent an udder, and hung it from a hanger over the sink.  Once I made small holes in the fingertips with a straight pin, she was able to squeeze the fingers of the glove like she would milk a cow.  She loved this.  (That post can be found at
After reading a bit about these bovids, Maggie colored the pages in her notebooking journal while she watched Disney's Home on the Range.

Day 2

We started Day 2 of our lesson with a few fun poems about these animals.  We read "Shaking" out of Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic ...
 ... "Milking Time" out of his Every Thing On It ...
... and "The Cow" out of Roald Dahl's Dirty Beasts.  (Roald Dahl is one of our favorites!)
We then learned more about the milk of cows with this "Finola's Farm" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! at, below.
Next, we picked up our text to read all about caprines: goats, sheep, and more.

We have done a lot with sheep, including a fun book study with our Five in a Row curriculum on Warm as Wool by Scott Russell Sanders.  (That post is at
During that study, we made these cute little sheep using small pieces of bubble wrap.
We've also made these foam and yarn sheep (at ...
... and handprint sheep with cotton balls (at
One of Maggie's favorite animals, in fact, is the goat.  Here she is hanging out with one at Zoo Atlanta when we visited a few weeks ago.

Speaking of goats, before our next video, we also read the "Blame" poem out of Silverstein's A Light in the Attic.

We then watched the "Wool" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! at, below.  This episode follows the process of turning sheep's wool into yarn.
It was time to record what we were learning.  We use the notebooking journal to accompany the text to keep all of our notes.
We read more from our text, about families Camelidae (camels, llamas, etc.) and Cervidae (deer, moose, etc.).

This brings me to June, "our" deer.  I say "our" because she visits our backyard almost daily.  We love her and she is so named because we first saw her two years ago in June.  Since, she has had twin fawns, both female, but I have yet to get a picture of them.  They are almost as big as she is now!  
We continued reading fun poems about all these animals, including "They've Put a Brassiere on the Camel" out of Silverstein's A Light in the Attic (this one is just so funny), "Wild Boar" (from his Where the Sidewalk Ends), "Little Pig's Treat" (from his Falling Up), "A Use for a Moose" (also from Falling Up), and "The Pig" (from Dahl's Dirty Beasts).  She really enjoyed this silly component.
Then it was time for one of our favorites, Thidwick: the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr. Seuss, which makes it a point to mention those antlers that fall off every year.  This is a great addition to this lesson.
Recently, when we went to the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, Maggie got to see the size of a full-grown bull.
We followed our reading up with the "A Plan for Sand" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! at, below.  This episode demonstrates how camels' bodies are perfectly adapted to life in a dry, sandy desert.  Their eyelashes keep sand out of their eyes, their wide feet help them walk on top of the sand, and their humps store fat to use when food is hard to find. 
Next, we watched their "Reindeer Games" episode at, below.  This episode demonstrates how reindeer use their antlers to help them find food under the snow and to fight rivals.
It was time to move on to our next even-toed ungulate, the giraffe, from family Giraffidae.  (The okapi is also in this family.)  Check out this beautiful bull from Zoo Atlanta.
Maggie loved feeding him!
We did a study of giraffes not too long ago when we read The Giraffe That Walked to Paris by Nancy Milton.  (That post is at
During that book study, we measured Mags outside with sidewalk chalk and a tape measure at just over 4 feet ...
... compared to a giraffe's height of 16 feet.  (The text says they can grow up to 18 feet tall, which would have left an even larger difference between markings.)
We also put together this little paper giraffe.  (Follow the aforementioned link for where to find the template for this.)
Back to this lesson, we also watched the "Treetop Tom" episode from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! at, below.  In this episode, you can learn how giraffes eat, drink, and move around without losing their balance.

To add some color to her journal, Maggie put together the giraffe picture from this Paint by Sticker: Kids: Zoo Animals sticker book.
She loves these and they are always beautiful once finished.
Next, we put together the little origami giraffe from this "Easy, Fold-by-Number Wild Animals" origami kit by Yasutomo.  (We purchased the kit at Hobby Lobby.)
This got stapled into her journal, too.
After reading about family Suidae in our text (which includes pigs and warthogs), we put together the warthog mask out of our Wild Animals 3-D masks activity book.
This completely freaked out our poor cat.

Day 3

On Day 3, we read in our text about families Tayassuidae (the peccaries) and Hippopotamidae (yep, the hippopotamuses).  I have always been fascinated by hippos.

Here is the picture we snapped of the young hippo we spotted at the Montgomery Zoo.
I timed this lesson with a book study of Hanna's Cold Winter by Trish Marx (Five in a Row, Volume 4), about the story of the Budapest zoo hippos during WW2.  (You can find the post with that book study at  I highly recommend reading this to go along with your lesson of "Order Artiodactyla."  It is a beautiful story.
As part of that book study, Maggie made this sweet, little watercolor painting of hippos.
(We added it to her science journal.)
We also used the printables for that book from Homeschool Share ( ...
... and San Diego Zoo's hippo informational page (at to fill out these flipbooks and fact strips about hippos.  These got added to our science journal, too.
(We just attached them here and there where there was room.)
We also read Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu.  It, too, is full of great information on hippos.
Here is a sweet video of Owen and Mzee on YouTube at, below.
We then watched the "Fun in the Sun" episode of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! on YouTube at, below.  In this episode, we see that hippopotamuses secrete an oily substance that acts as a kind of sunscreen, and they live in water which keeps them cool in the African heat.  (This video actually has two episodes in one.  The hippo video, "Fun in the Sun." starts at minute 12:00.)
Lately, we've had fun keeping up with Fiona (the baby hippo that was born 6 weeks premature at the Cincinnati Zoo, below) on her Facebook page at  Isn't she so precious??
Here is a recap video of her first year on YouTube at, below.
It was time to map all of our even-toed ungulates on our world map.
It's filling up fast!
Mags also drew some tracks (those of a deer and a cow) in her journal ...
... as well as completed the "Design a Zoo" activity suggested in the text.
 I was so impressed with all of the details she put into her zoo map!

Day 4

On Day 4 of this lesson, we completed the pages in her notebook, including her "Artiodactyls" minibook. 
We then did the "A Giraffe's Blood Pressure" experiment outlined in the text, using a water bottle, a balloon, a pin, and a sink.
During our reading, we learned that giraffes have the highest blood pressure of any mammal in God's creation.  Through this experiment, Maggie was able to better understand why.
In order for the blood in a giraffe's tall body to make the long distance up to the brain, much pressure is needed.  By squeezing the balloon on her experiment setup, thereby applying pressure, the water in Maggie's bottle was able to rise.  This is representative of the blood needing pressure to rise in the giraffe.  Very cool!
Her experiment notes, and our lesson review questions from CurrClick, wrapped up our journal work for Lesson 9.
Maggie's reward for finishing two full lessons on ungulates is a trip this weekend to Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia (, a place that homes many, many ungulates.  At this wildlife park, you can rent a park vehicle and drive in a big loop (it takes about an hour), with food for the animals that the park provides, and feed them right from the vehicle's windows.  It is truly a wild time!
The following eleven pictures show artiodactyls that I caught on camera at our last visit.
She will be so excited!

Thanks for checking in with us!  On Tuesday, we will dive into Lesson 10, "Orders Squamata and Rhynchocephalia," the reptiles!  It should be fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment