Be Naturally Curious
Science and Nature Mini-Courses for Kids

A Wide World of Vertebrates


A Wide World of Vertebrates

What is an amphibian, and how is it different from a reptile? Which animals are mammals like you? A Wide World of Vertebrates introduces you to the amazing diversity of vertebrate animal life on our planet. In the interactive story-based lesson, Devi the Dolphin learns how her backbone allows her to do backflips. Kids learn the different features of the five vertebrate groups and practice distinguishing them. What could be more fun than reinforcing this knowledge through physical activity in Vertebrate Twister and Critter Charades? Finally, the beautifully illustrated BONES Bingo game and Mobile Vertebrate art project will delight all of those hands-on learners out there!

Mini-course is provided as a 36-page PDF, with a separate Science Tool Kit PDF to use to collect your badges

Prefer a printed mini-course?  A Wide World of Vertebrates is also available as a beautiful workbook here on

 Course Contents

  • Story: Devi the Dolphin. Devi learns how having a backbone helps her jump. Fill in your chart along with Devi as she learns the traits of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • Activity 1: Mobile Vertebrate. Make a mobile of your favorite mobile animal group! Make more than one with these beautiful illustrations and add a sketch of your favorite animal as you go.
  • Activity 2: BONES Bingo. Think you can win at BONES Bingo? If so, you’ll need to understand all the neat features of fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
  • Activity 3: Vertebrate Twister.Twist, stretch, and think. Can you figure out which animal group was just called?
  • Activity 4: Critter Charades!. Can your friends and family guess which animal you are acting out? Make sure to give them a hint by making the sign of the right animal group.
  • Curiosity Connector. Use these neat online resources to explore more differences between the five vertebrate groups.
  • Tools for Your Tool Kit. See if you can answer all the questions about birds, fish, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians to earn Tools for your Science Tool Kit.
  • Glossary. Expand your vertebrate vocabulary!

Concepts and Ideas

A Wide World of Vertebrates includes the following Disciplinary Core Ideas as described in the Next Generation Science Standards: 

Structure and Function (LS1.A).

How to Purchase

After checking out and purchasing the mini-course via PayPal, you will receive an email from Be Naturally Curious with a link to download the mini-course PDF. Your PDF will be stamped with your name and transaction number. You will also receive a link to download a Science Tool Kit PDF.  Please print this and use it to collect your Tool badges.

Illustrations by Rachel Caauwe.


A Wide World of Vertebrates

Tucker Hirsch

About Tucker Hirsch

Tucker Hirsch is a science and literacy editor with National Geographic Learning's K-8 textbook division. A native of New Jersey, she returned to Monterey time and again until finally calling it home in 2013. A passionate marine biologist and educator, she has developed science curriculum for a number of organizations, including Aquarium of the Bay and Call of the Sea, both in San Francisco. Tucker still develops hands-on science curriculum through her company, Tucker Hirsch LLC. She is also an alternate member on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Tucker works to inspire citizens to be stewards of the planet through science and education.

© Be Naturally Curious 2018