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Which animal is that? - Noticing differences and similarities. 🦋🐆🐊🐢

Which animal is this  noticing similarities and differences How we Montessori

Has your child ever asked what the difference is between a turtle and a tortoise or between a crocodile and an alligator? Children are curious and often notice similarities and differences in the things around them. Sometimes looking at similarities and differences means looking closer, paying attention to the smaller, finer details.

When asked about turtles and tortoises, the only difference I could think of is that turtles like water and tortoises don't.  I also didn't want to give my child the answer; I wanted us to find out the answer together.  Pursuing the idea of similarities and differences, I've put together a few activities for us to work on together. I will read the story/book, and we will look at each example in the book and look at the model animals. 

We use model animals that we already have at home - except for the Luna Moth lifecycle, which is new.  I want to do something similar for frogs and toads, we don't have any model toads, so I will print some images of frogs and toads that I've found online.

Butterfly or moth at How we Montessori activity

Here we've used the Butterfly or Moth? How Do You Know? book and pieces from a Butterfly and Luna Moth lifecycle set. I've learnt so much about butterflies and moths from reading this. 

Butterfly or moth activity at How we Montessori similarities and differences

This book is really lovely and has lots of big beautiful images. 

Butterfly or moth activity at How we Montessori (4)

I've included the chrysalis and the cocoon here as they are also featured in the book. 

Cheetah or leopard at How we Montessori activity (1)

This one is tricky! 🐆 We've used a Cheetahs or Leopards spotting the differences book and cheetah and leopard models. 

Cheetah or leopard at How we Montessori activity (2)

An easy way to tell the difference between a leopard and a cheetah is the cheetah has these black lines on the face! Now we know! 

Turtle or tortoise How we Montessori activity

We are using this simple Turtle or Tortoise Spot the Differences book and model turtles and tortoises. I don't know why but we had three different tortoises in our animal collection.

Which animal turtle or tortoise at How we Montessori

Even if the child doesn't get it right when deciding if it is a turtle or a tortoise, they can still learn a lot in the process. 

Alligator or crocodile at How we Montessori

Here is the Alligator or Crocodile Spot the Differences book and a model alligator and crocodile. Otto (4yrs) loved all of these activities but especially the alligator or crocodile as he is really interested in dinosaurs. 

Crocodile or aligator at How we Montessori

Other animals that are similar include:

  • Bee or Wasp?
  • Llama or Alpaca?
  • Frog or Toad?
  • Hedgehog or Porcupine?
  • Octopus or Squid? 
  • Seal or Sea Lion?
  • Rabbit or Hare?

While this book isn't only about animals, it looks fun - What's the Difference?: 40+ Pairs of the Seemingly Similar by Emma Strack and Guillaume Plantevin, it includes clementine and mandarin,  sorbet and ice cream, crocodile and alligator, and bacteria and virus. 

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