Parts of Animals: All about Vertebrates

Developed by:Rantek Inc.


Ages 3-6

Learn the parts and names of different vertebrate animals. This app nicely complements the animal puzzles used in the Montessori Classroom! In Lesson #1 learn the parts and names of the different vertebrate animals. Touch an animal part in the photo-strip to change the featured animal part on the page. Touch the speaker button to hear the correct pronunciation of the animal part and touch the location button to see the animal part highlighted on the diagram!

In Lessons #2 & #3 assemble the animal puzzle with pieces that are based on the popular physical Montessori materials: In the first animal puzzle lesson, children have to look for the animal puzzle piece that is blinking on the diagram. When they touch the correct piece it will move into position on the diagram and the name of the part can be heard aloud. In the second animal puzzle lesson, children have to look for the animal puzzle piece that corresponds to the name shown at the top. For children who cannot read, the animal part name at the top can be touched to hear the name aloud for them to know which one to look for. (iTunes)

Get Ready

Prepare to use this app by using any of the following activities:


Discuss and explain the characteristics of vertebrates with your child..  Afterwards, think of as many animals as you can that fall under this category.  Vertebrates are the most advanced organisms on Earth! The traits that make particular animals vertebrates are their spinal cords, vertebrae, and notochords. It's all about having a series of nerves along your back (dorsal side). If you are an organism, you can't just have the nerves sitting there. You need to give those nerves support and protection. That need brings us to the backbones and a rod of cartilage called the notochord.


  1. Spinal Cord: a long tube-like structure extending from the base of the brain through the vertebral canal to the upper lumbar region.
  2. Vertebrae: The vertebrae (singular: vertebra) are the bones that compose the spine. There are 33 of them!
  3. Notochords: a rod of cartilage along the backbone.

*Adapt this activity for younger children by simply focusing on the concept that vertebrates have backbones.  


A Vertebrate I can EAT?

Draw a diagram or picture to help your child make a visual of the three body parts that make up a vertebrate! Or, collect these items to make a more “real” example of a vertebrate:

pipe cleaner (to represent the spinal cord), tube shaped pasta like penne (to represent the notochords) & gummy savers to represent each vertebra).   

*This activity is particularly helpful for younger children.  Going into the body parts that make a vertebrate is a little easier when they can associate it with a particular object.

Dive In

Help your child get the most out this app experience by trying any of the following activity:

Touch, Tap, Learn!

Let your child decide which activities they’d like to explore in this app.  Perhaps they’d like to start with their favorite vertebrate, learn the body parts, or start with a puzzle.  Whichever activity they choose, encourage them to have fun and be ready to discuss a favorite body part they learned; ask them to share what the body part is and where it is located.


Branch Out

Extend your child’s learning by using any of the following activities:

More on Vertebrates!

Teach your child about categories by discussing and showing that there are 5 different types of vertebrates: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish! Draw a bubble diagram to go more in depth into this concept.  Put “Vertebrates” in the middle and extend out from there to draw five separate bubbles, or circles.  In each one, help your child to write the five different types of vertebrates.  From here, do any of the following depending on your child’s interests and/or ability:

  • draw a visual representation or symbol for each type of animal on the bubble diagram

  • write down one important characteristic of each type of animal (some options below)

  • ask your child to put a star near their favorite vertebrate and discuss and/or record as many facts about that animal as they’d like

A few facts about the five different types of vertebrates:

  1. mammals: animals that have hair, are warm blooded and drink milk when they are babies
  2. birds: are warm blooded, have wings, feathers, beaks and their babies hatch from eggs
  3. reptiles: have scales, breathe air, are cold blooded and usually lay eggs on land
  4. amphibians: spend part of their lives in water and the other part of it on land; they are cold blooded
  5. fish: live in water, have gills to breath, scales and fins on their bodies and are cold blooded


See Vertebrates LIVE!

All this talk about vertebrates makes me want to see a real one!  Do you have an aquarium or zoo in your town? Or, perhaps a petting zoo?  Arrange a little outing to go see some of these vertebrates in real life.  On the way there, have your child refresh your memory on what it is about vertebrates that make them special.  Which is their favorite vertebrate? Why?  Go back to this app and ask them what their favorite part was and why.  Animals are fascinating - there are always more facts to learn!  Encourage them to seek out more information about any animal and or characteristic that they find most interesting.  How could they find more information?  Encourage and praise their curiosity!