Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals Sort – Free Preschool Printable

As many welcome the warmth of spring and summer, the preschool and kindergarten students are eager to explore the world around them. One fascinating topic that sparks their curiosity is the animal kingdom. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of nocturnal and diurnal animals, exploring the differences between these two groups of animals. You are also invited to download this educational resource that will help your students learn about nocturnal and diurnal animals through interactive and engaging activities.

What are Nocturnal Animals?

Nocturnal animals are those that are active at night, when the sun is not shining. These animals have adapted to live in the dark, using their senses to navigate and find food. Examples of nocturnal animals include:

  • Owls: These birds have big eyes that help them see in the dark, and they use their sharp hearing to catch their prey.
  • Bats: These flying mammals use echolocation to navigate and find insects to eat.
  • Raccoons: These clever animals use their sense of touch to find food and shelter in the dark.
  • Hedgehogs: These small mammals curl up into a ball for protection, using their sharp quills to defend themselves from predators.
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What are Diurnal Animals?

Diurnal animals, on the other hand, are those that are active during the day, when the sun is shining. These animals have adapted to live in the light, using their eyes to see and find food. Examples of diurnal animals include:

  • Rabbits: These fast-moving animals use their sharp eyesight to spot predators and find food.
  • Deer: These gentle animals use their keen sense of smell to find food and avoid danger.
  • Birds: Most birds, such as robins and sparrows, are diurnal, using their bright colors to attract mates and find food.
  • Squirrels: These agile animals use their sharp eyesight to climb trees and find nuts and seeds.

How do Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals Differ?

One of the main differences between nocturnal and diurnal animals is their behavior. Nocturnal animals are active at night, while diurnal animals are active during the day. This is because each group has adapted to its environment in unique ways.

  • Nocturnal animals have developed special senses, such as hearing and smell, to navigate and find food in the dark.
  • Diurnal animals have developed bright colors and sharp eyesight to see and attract mates in the light.
  • Nocturnal animals tend to be more solitary, as they need to rely on their senses to survive.
  • Diurnal animals tend to be more social, as they can rely on each other for protection and finding food.

Introducing the Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals Printables

To help your preschool and kindergarten students learn about nocturnal and diurnal animals, we’ve created a set of printables that include:

Picture sorting cards with photos of animals that are active during the day (diurnal) or at night (nocturnal)

These printables are designed to be used as a hands-on activity, allowing your students to sort and categorize the animals based on their activity patterns. You can also use these printables as a starting point for further exploration, such as creating a habitat diorama for a nocturnal or diurnal animal or writing a short story about a favorite animal.

How to Use the Printables

To use these printables, simply print out the picture sorting cards, and then follow these simple steps:

  1. Begin by introducing the concept of nocturnal and diurnal animals. Use the cards to show your students what each type of animal looks like and explain their habits.
  2. Distribute the picture sorting cards to your students. Ask them to sort the animals into two categories: diurnal (day) and nocturnal (night).
  3. Encourage your students to discuss their observations and findings with their classmates. How do the animals adapt to their environments? What are some similarities and differences between diurnal and nocturnal animals?
  4. Use this activity as a springboard for further exploration. You can incorporate other activities such as:

Creating a habitat diorama for a nocturnal or diurnal animal

Writing a short story or drawing a picture about a favorite animal

Conducting research on specific animal adaptations.

Benefits of Using the Printables

These printables offer numerous benefits for your preschool and kindergarten students, including:

  • Developing critical thinking skills through sorting and categorizing
  • Encouraging scientific inquiry and observation
  • Building vocabulary and language skills through discussion and writing
  • Fostering an appreciation for the natural world and its many wonders

Our Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals printables are a valuable resource for any preschool or kindergarten classroom. By using these printables, you’ll be providing your students with a fun and interactive way to learn about the animal kingdom. Whether you’re teaching in a Montessori or early childhood setting, these printables are sure to delight your students and inspire their curiosity about the natural world.

We hope you enjoy using these printables with your students!

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About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.