The Curriculum of the Steiner School - Class 4

Notes and Lesson Plans

Zoology Notes - One Block
updated March 8, 2021

Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!

This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.

This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your fourth grade year. Enjoy!

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Zoology Notes - One Block
for Class 4

Suggested Pacing & Resources

Man and Animal one block notes (PDF)

There are seven lessons in each portion. I would suggest planning for four lessons in the first week and three lessons in the second, which gives you a flex day if something runs long or you want to do a bonus activity.

The two main books I recommend for this block are The Human Being and the Animal World by Charles Kovacs and Drawing from the Book of Nature by Dennis Klocek. Both are excellent.

Of course, you can always supplement with other fiction and non-fiction resources. When I suggest something additional here it's because I had it in my own collection and thought it was a good fit, not because it's a "must buy."

The two collections of poetry I would suggest are The Waldorf Book of Poetry edited by David Kennedy and Eric Carle's Animals Animals edited by Laura Whipple.

I HIGHLY recommend visiting my Pinterest page for Man and Animal to look for art ideas, chalkboard drawings, etc. that would be a good fit for you and your child.

I've also put together a comprehensive blog post with all of the pictures from both of my daughter Leah's main lesson books (Man & Animal I, Man & Animal II). You can find it here.

To be honest, we enjoyed a lot of David Attenborough documentaries during this block as well!

Weeks One & Two
Form Animals (Seven Lessons)

1 - "The Head, Trunk, and Limbs"

2 - "The Cuttlefish"

    The Human Being and the Animal World, chap 2

    you can buy cuttlefish bones at the pet store in the bird section; it's interesting to examine them

3 - "The Seal"

    The Human Being and the Animal World, chap 3

    Kovacs also refers to the story Seal Morning by Rowena Farre

    watercolor painting is lovely here... we used the Live Ed idea of painting the animal by painting the environment around it; see how the form of the animal organically arises from its habitat

    Animals Among the Elements lesson plan by Live Education!

    recommended poem: "Seal" by William Jay Smith
    this is especially nice to go with the painting since it's a concrete poem

    it is in The Waldorf Book of Poetry, page 157

    there is also a "Seal Lullaby" poem by Rudyard Kipling in in Eric Carle's Animals Animals, pp.34-35

4 - "The Snail"

    The Human Being and the Animal World, chap 4

    Drawing from the Book of Nature, page 40

    modeling beeswax is perfect here

    there is a "Snail" poem by John Drinkwater in in Eric Carle's Animals Animals, p.83

5 - "The Harvest Mouse"

6 - "The Eagle"

7 - "The Limbs"

    The Human Being and the Animal World, chap 9

    see Leah's MLB illustration on the many things my hands can do

    another beautiful book for looking at the human hand is The Handmade Alphabet by Laura Rankin

    recommended poem: "Unstooping" by Walter de la Mare

    it is in The Waldorf Book of Poetry, page 159

Weeks Three & Four
Function Animals (Seven Lessons)

1 - "The Earthworm"

"a strong muscle fiber"

2 - "The Coelenterates"

"a floating heart"

3 - "The Acephalas"

"breathing in and out"

4 - "The Owl"

"intent concentration"

5 - "The Cattle"

"digestive system"

    Drawing from the Book of Nature, page 75

    suggested poem: "Ox and Cow" by Margaret Morgan (which you can read in this blog post)

    there are several other cow poems in The Waldorf Book of Poetry, pp.141, 149, 156

    Painting in Waldorf Education also has specific indications for the cow

    I find the best explanation of the four stomachs of the ruminant is in Horns and Antlers by Wilfrid Swancourt Bronson

6 - "The Horse"

"nerve/sense system"

    The Human Being and the Animal World, chap 11

    Drawing from the Book of Nature, page 83

    Learning about the World through Modeling by Arthur Auer, pp.76-84 (available free as a PDF download from the Online Waldorf Library) has a lesson on Archetypical Animal Forms (lion, bison, bear, horse)

    the horse is a rich subject

    I know two people who have done an entire main lesson block just on the horse!

    "The Horse" by Roy Wilkinson is in The Waldorf Book of Poetry, p.149

    there are several horse poems in Eric Carle's Animals Animals, pp.74-75

    there are also lots of wonderful fiction chapter books about horses!!!

7 - "The Tiger"

"cardiovascular system"

    the Lion is the classic choice here but you could do another big cat which your child is interested in

    Tiger Trek

    by Ted Lewin

    the tiger is one of the animals included in Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

    it's also a fun one for some etymology: Why Is a Tiger a Tiger? by Dave Buchen

    recommended poem: "The Tyger" by William Blake

    it is in The Waldorf Book of Poetry, page 157

    or, if you'd like to hear this poem beautifully performed aloud, it is also in Poetry Speaks to Children, CD track 51

    or, for a more light-hearted option, "The Tiger Who Wore White Gloves" by Gwendolyn Brooks, CD track 5

    there is also a "Tiger" poem by Valerie Worth in Eric Carle's Animals Animals, pp.76-77

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