Different types of feet

Lesson objective

  • To introduce students to the idea that different animals have different types of feet that have adapted to different environments.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • explore and make observations about a range of animals’ feet
  • discuss the different purposes of different types of feet
  • sort information and classify objects based on easily observable
  • characteristics with teacher guidance.

Setting the context

Sheep mostly graze during the early morning and the evening and can walk many kilometres as they graze. Instead of soft feet with five toes (like humans) sheep are cloven-hooved (a hard hoof split into two toes), which allows them to walk for long distances grazing over rough terrain. Examples of other mammals with this type of hoof are cattle, deer and goats. In this lesson, students will compare the feet of different animals and relate their findings to the types of environment in which they live.

Lesson focus

The focus of this lesson is to link external features such as feet to the environment in which an animal lives.


Read What if you had animal feet? by Sandra Markle with students. Discuss why animals have different types of feet.

  1. Ask students to complete worksheet Whose feet are these? Select a number of students to share their work and explain how each animal they have chosen uses their feet to move through the landscape in which they live.
  2. Ask students to imagine they had feet like sheep (hooves). Encourage them to think about all the things they could do if they had hard hooves instead of soft fleshy feet.
  3. Ask students to complete the worksheet If I had sheep feet.


Review with students why different animals have different types of feet. Ask a few students to share their If I had sheep feet worksheets with the class. Using the class journal, develop a list of the different types of feet students have investigated during the lesson.