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R/1: Paws, Claws & Whiskers

Welcome to

Paws, Claws and Whiskers

our purrrrrrrrrrrfectly BRILLIANT new topic!


Soft fur, sharp claws and twitching whiskers. What’s your favourite animal? One that meows? One that barks? Or maybe one that scurries or slithers? From pets at home to animals in the zoo, let’s find out what animals like to eat and where they like to sleep. Do you know how to look after a rabbit? A cat? Or even a snake? Find out how the elephant got his trunk and how the rhinoceros got his leathery skin. Perhaps you know how the dog got his waggy tail? Can you make a food chain to show who eats who? Who is a herbivore and who is a carnivore? Do you have creatures at home? Is it up to you to take care of them? We'll help everyone to discover how to feed them, clean them and meet their daily needs. After all that work, curl up and take a cat nap.



To kick off our topic with a hiss and a lick, we need your help in a Knowledge Harvest. We normally begin our topics at school with a wondrous chatter together about everything we already know (Knowledge Harvest) and everything we'd like to find out (Wonderings). Sometimes we even manage to come up with a super long list of suggestions of how and where we can uncover new information.


Paws, Claws and Whiskers is all about animals - big ones, small ones, furry ones, scaly ones - you name it, we can learn about it. Please can you warm up your brain by completing the Circle Map below all about what you ALREADY KNOW. I will gather all these in on Dojo and type up some supersized maps to share together. Remember, we just want to see your current knowledge and how you know it - did you learn it at school (how and when?), did someone at home tell you (who and why?), did you visit somewhere special (where?) or do you have an awesome book at home (what is it called?).


Take a look at the example on the left below to help remind yourself what this first map will look like.


Ready, Steady, GO!


Now I know…what you know…that we know, we are ready for the WONDERINGS! So, what do you WANT TO KNOW? What would you like to find out more about? Which animal intrigues you? I would like you to fill this Circle Map with your questions BUT make sure they are deep and tricky. Don’t ask something you can already answer, set us a challenge we’ll have to hunt hard for fascinating information on. If you have an idea of where we could look for this new knowledge, that would be really useful too. 


In another colour, or on a fresh map, please could you add any ideas you have for:

  • SPLASH activities
  • role play areas
  • websites to visit (as sadly we are unable to travel to real places right now)
  • people to speak to (we could invite someone who knows about animals to a Teams Meet)
  • artists to explore
  • science investigations 

Anything you would like to DO that involves learning about animals!


Have a look at the example on the right above, to see what a completed Wonderings map looks like.

What are you waiting for, pencils at the ready… your next Map awaits!


Oh I am SO EXCITED about this next activity surprise...



Do all animals have paws AND claws AND whiskers? Do any have none?


Hmm, I wonder if you are able to think of some unusual creatures to fit into a fact web? You could add to my Padlet by clicking the picture below OR make your own one at home. Maybe draw pictures on post-it notes and use string to link them together. You could print photos or even use Top Trump animal cards if you have any.


  • Investigate 3-5 animals: look online (with a grown up) or in a non-fiction book (including Oxford Owl).
  • Do they have PAWS or CLAWS or WHISKERS?
  • See if you can find at least 1 that has none at all!
  • Please include your name if you are on Padlet so I know who to Dojo point.
  • You might be surprised by what you find out... Happy fact hunting wink