Head Start Early Learning Outcomes
Framework – Scientific Reasoning (Scien-
tific Inquiry)
Goal P-SCI 3. Child compares and categorizes
observable phenomena.

Arizona Early Learning Standards –
Scientific Inquiry
Identify the following observable properties of
objects using the senses: shape, texture, size, color.

MATERIALS close-up photographs of animal eyes that
feature round pupils (human, tiger, lion),
vertical pupils (cat, crocodile), and horizontal
pupils (horse, goat, sheep), copied from books
or downloaded from Internet sites
photographs of the animals that correspond to
the eyes used above
white poster board, 11 by 14 inches
self-laminating strips (recommended for the
photos) magnetic tape or hook-and-loop fasteners
(such as Velcro)
children’s books that illustrate and discuss
animal eyes, such as Eye to Eye: How Animals See
the World by Steve Jenkins and Animal Eyes by
David M. Schwartz
sorting tray with two compartments or two
small baskets
assortment of small toy animals
3–5 small cosmetic mirrors
colored pencils
white paper
There are many differences among the eyes of
members of the animal kingdom. One difference
is the shape of the pupil. In addition to round,
vertical, and horizontal, which are the focus of
this activity, shapes include V-shaped (cuttlefish),
jagged (gecko), and half circle (deer). Additional
pupil shapes can be added to this activity for
interested children.

The location of animal eyes also varies. Some
animals, such as humans, cats, and wolves, have
eyes in the front of their faces. This allows the
animal to see in three dimensions, which helps
predators judge the distance and position of prey.

Other animals have eyes placed at the sides of
their heads, which enables them to see almost
360 degrees. A wide visual field helps them
detect and escape predators.

Children may also be interested in how the
number of eyes varies among animals. For exam-
ple, some spiders have eight eyes, starfish have
an eye on each arm, and grasshoppers have five
eyes. Giant clams can have thousands of eyes.

IMPLEMENTATION 1. In preparation for this activity, create a
chart with three columns and a drawing of
a round, vertical, and horizontal pupil at the
bottom of each column. Mount strips of mag-
netic tape or hook-and-loop fasteners to the
center of each column, as pictured. Cut out
and laminate the pictures of animal eyes and
place a piece of magnetic tape or hook-and-
loop fastener on the back of each.

2. Teachers may choose to begin by reading a
short book about animal eyes and showing
pictures of animal eyes that illustrate three
of the many different types of pupils: round,
vertical, and horizontal.

3. The graph can be introduced during group
time. Each child can place a photograph of an
animal eye on the graph. Later, children can
repeat the activity individually or in small
groups. Photographs of the animals can be
placed next to the graph so that children can
match the eyes to the animals.

4. In the block or manipulative area, chil-
dren can sort the toy animals based on eye
placement—front of the head versus sides of
the head.

5. The art activity can be implemented in small
groups and then placed in the art area for
further exploration.