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Animals Piece by Piece
Task with Student Directions

Kindergarten Performance Task
Developed for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)
Authors: Betty Crocker, Janette Fentress, Virginia Malone, Theresa Weeks, Vanessa Westbrook


The student identifies body parts of animals from puzzle pieces, assembles the puzzle, and names the animal. Students experience several different animal puzzles.

Time Frame:

15 minutes per puzzle


  • Animal pictures from magazines, coloring books, etc. (1 per group of 4 students)
  • Tag board
  • Clear plastic bags (1 per group of 4 students)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Drawing paper (4 to 6 pages per student)
  • Markers/crayons
  • Stapler
  • Construction paper (1 sheet per student)
  • Materials to add texture to pictures (optional)

Advance Preparation:

Compile a collection of animal pictures from magazines, coloring books, etc. Mount each animal picture on tag board. Texture can be added to pictures by gluing on different materials such as net, waxed paper cotton, sand, or fur. Cut each animal picture into four parts: legs, arms or wings, head, and tail. Do not try to keep the body intact as you cut the picture into parts. Prepare one puzzle for every four students. Place each four-part animal puzzle in a clear plastic bag. Make student Animal Journals by stapling drawing paper into a cover labeled Animal Journal.


  1. Give every four students an animal puzzle.

  2. Each student selects one animal piece from their group's bag and names the part.

  3. Have groups assemble the puzzle pieces to complete the animal.

  4. Students name the animal and its body parts.

Did You Know?:

Students at this early age often have minconceptions about nature. They may use arms and wings interchangeably. Sometimes front legs will also be called arms and front feet are called hands. Humans are not always recognized as being members of the animal kingdom. You may want to include a human as one of the pictures. This age group has limited writing skills. Many times only the author will be able to "read" the journal. The teacher may need to help by recording the words.

Formative Assessment:

Make sure each team member can name the body part on their puzzle piece and inserts their piece into the total picture.

  1. If a student has trouble, ask other members of the group to assist.

  2. Post names of animals and their parts on sentence strips, an overhead, a poster or the chalkboard to aid the students.

  3. In their Animal Journal, students draw pictures of the animals shown in their puzzles and label the parts. The teacher may help record the students' words.

  4. Place these puzzle bags in the Science Center for further practice.



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