Classified Cards for West Tennessee

in Montessori, Science

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I’ve seen plenty of sets of cards for kids that have species from all across the world, but I realized that I didn’t care how much they knew about species in Zimbabwe if they couldn’t tell a vole from a shrew in their own backyard.  (Now mind you I probably couldn’t either before I made this set for them, so don’t think I know so much.)  All of these species are native to our area, but I’d like to share them just the same.  If, however, the people who’s pictures I used want more than a photo credit, I shall be forced to immediately remove these links.  Get ALL my stuff here.
1.  West Tennessee Reptiles (almost all photos from here)
2.  West Tennessee Mammals:  (all photos from here or Wikipedia)
There are lots…
So many, in fact, that I didn’t list all of the species of rat, mouse, shrew, and bat.
They were all brown and looked alike.  And how many times have you been close enough to a bat in the day time to identify the species? (*Edit 1/16:  I will probably go back and make these with all of the species, as the children are very disappointed with these generic cards.)
  1.  West Tennessee Fish:  (almost all photos from here)
And though we didn’t do all 12 bats for our area, I did think it necessary that as children of an avid fisherman, they know all the species of bass Papa catches.
4.  West Tennessee Amphibians: (all photos from here)
  1.  West Tennessee Birds: (photos primarily from this gorgeous site and the rest from here)
Wow, there are a lot of birds.
I only did ones that live here year round or there would have been a 100 more.
And while I was at it, I made a bunch of shell cards for my daughter who is currently obsessed with them.  She has a card for every shell in her collection.  These are, of course, not local.  And she doesn’t want me to cut them apart yet as she sorts all her shells onto the mats. (Photos from here, here, and here)
I used for the year round birds, and the Smithsonian North American Mammal site for the Mammals.  But for the fish, reptiles and amphibians, I used local site that would be of no use to you.  However, but you may be able to find your own local species by zip code here.  I will warn you, though, that it will generate more species than are truly local for you.  We only have a few salamanders here but according to the local field biologists, we only have two that are common enough to care about.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon May 20, 2012

I would love to access some of the materials you have so generously made available, but any time I try to download something off of scribd it tries to make me sign up for a subscription and won’t let me download. Any ideas??


2 admin May 20, 2012

Nope. I think it makes you sign up. Maybe I can make it work on my site without subscription….


3 Beverley May 15, 2012

This is such a great idea. I’m overwhelmed with how much time it must have taken to research the lists, obtain the pictures, design the cards and then print, cut and laminate…. but so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.


4 admin May 15, 2012

AWWWWW, thank you so much, Beverley!


5 Anna January 16, 2012

I am so impressed! What a great learning tool, and so awesome to teach them about the local species.

You can check out my DIY blog at if you like.

Keep up the great homeschooling!


6 Deb Chitwood January 16, 2012

Thanks so much for sharing your vertebrate cards, Deanna! And I love to know about the sites that allow you to search by area! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:


7 LeeanneA January 16, 2012

Amazing job! Nice!


8 Deanna Caswell January 12, 2012

Thanks everyone! I'm so pleased that someone else sees how uber-cool these are. I LOVE THEM.

For Kanab Utah….I got my bird lists from You can search by area. And the smithsonian site link on the mammal photo credit also allows you to search by area. For the fish, I used that and then asked my husband what we saw in our area. For reptiles and amphibians, I used a college site that is local. I don't know if other states have sites where field biologists have tracked local species.


9 BexBex January 12, 2012

What a great idea!


10 Unknown January 12, 2012

How could I find something like this for Kanab Utah? Your kids are going to be so well rounded and educated. Great job you are doing with them!!!


11 Alisha January 12, 2012

Nice job! The kids will probably keep these and use them with their kids someday.


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