It was a lot of fun to find animals to include in our Montessori-Inspired matching cards this month. Much of Europe has similar animals, so it was a fun challenge to pick a few for our England unit. Did you know the Barbary Lion that has been extinct for decades? It’s amazing that England has an animal as it’s national fauna that no longer exists.
Barbary Lion (Panthera leo leo) – a population originating in Barbary Coastal regions of Maghreb from the Atlas Mountains to Egypt and was eradicated following the spreading of firearms and bounties for shooting lions. History supports that small groups of lions may have survived in Algeria and in Morocco until the 1960s. Until 2017, the Barbary lion was considered a distinct lion subspecies. However, morphological and genetic analyses of lion samples from North Africa showed that the Barbary lion does not differ significantly from lion samples collected in West and northern parts of Central Africa. Miniature: I used the lion found in the “Wild” TOOB by Safari Ltd. You can also buy one here on Amazon.
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) – is a small insect-eating bird measuring around fives inches in length, with both male and female having similar coloring. They differ from the American Robin in that they have an orange breast that extends up to their face which is also lined with grey, brown upperparts and a whitish belly. It is found across Europe, and a favorite in European gardens, both for its endearing appearance and its preference for eating a range of garden pests. Miniature: I used a miniature from “Backyard Birds” TOOB by Safari, Ltd – Unfortunately this depicts an American Robin, as I didn’t want to pay the $$ for one from the UK. You can the one I used here on Amazon.
Welsh Corgi (Canis lupus familiaris) – Often referred to as the Corgi, which is Welsh for “dwarf dog” is a small type of herding dog that originated in Wales, United Kingdom. This breed of dog has long been associated with the Royal family of England, with the Queen owning personally more than 30 of the dogs which were either pure-bred Pembroke Welsh Corgis or crossbreed Corgi/Dachshunds called Dorgis. Miniature: I used a miniature from “Pets” TOOB by Safari, Ltd. You can also buy one here on Amazon.
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) is one of the largest deer species. The male (stag) red deer is 69 to 98 in long and weighs between 350 to 530 pounds. In medieval hunting, the red deer was the most prestigious quarry, especially the mature stag, which in England was called a hart. Miniature: I used a miniature from “North American Wildlife” TOOB by Safari, Ltd. You can also buy one here on Amazon.
Dartmoor Pony (Equus ferus caballus) – is one of the horse breeds that have lived on Dartmoor England for centuries and is used for a variety of disciplines. Because of the extreme weather conditions experienced on the moors, the Dartmoor is a particularly hardy breed with excellent stamina. Over the centuries it has been used as a working animal by local tin miners and quarry workers. It is kept in a semi-feral state on Dartmoor. Miniature: I used a miniature from “Ponies” TOOB by Safari, Ltd. You can also buy one here on Amazon.
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) – Common throughout Europe, the male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on their wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage. The mallard grows to 20–26 inches long, of which the body makes up around two-thirds the length, with a wingspan of 32–39 inches. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes. This species is the main ancestor of most breeds of domesticated ducks. Miniature: I used a miniature from “River” TOOB by Safari, Ltd. You can buy one here on Amazon.
I laminated my cards so they would stand up to little fingers.
We talked about each animal, and basic species it was (bird, mammal, reptile, insect, etc). We talked about if it was large or small. My preschooler then matched up the animals with the miniatures. After this we worked on matching the word cards to the animal pictures (I read the word cards to her, since she can’t read yet). What fun to learn about animals that live in other countries! 🙂