Marsupials (Kangaroos)

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11430

Have you ever played hopscotch or jumped rope? Do you think you could hop or jump to everywhere you go? Jump right in and watch some fun videos, and read (and write!) about these colorful kangaroos!

categories

Life Science

subject
Science
learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Have you ever seen a kangaroo at the zoo? How do kangaroos move around?

kangaroo jumping

  • Did you say kangaroos jump?

Great! In the previous Related Lesson of our Marsupials series, found in the right-hand sideabr, you learned about the characteristics marsupials share. Tell your parent or teacher what it means to be a marsupial. Make sure you include details about their pouch and their babies!

kangaroo with joey

All kangaroos are marsupials. This means they have underdeveloped babies that have to live in their pouch. Kangaroos are mammals.

  • Do you know what a mammal is?

If not, go to the Additional Resources, found in the right-hand sidebar. Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

That's right! Mammals are warm-blooded animals that have fur or hair on their bodies. Mammals have live babies that they feed milk.

One amazing thing that sets kangaroos apart from many animals is that they jump nearly everywhere they go! They have extremely powerful hind legs that allow them to jump from one place to another.

  • Did you know some kangaroos can leap as far as thirty feet?

That's quite a leap!

  • How far can you jump?

Ask your parent or teacher to measure how far you can jump with a tape measure.

Kangaroos can also travel at speeds up to thirty miles per hour! Their powerful hind legs give them the ability to jump great distances and travel quickly. If a kangaroo wants to move more slowly, it uses its tail and forelimbs (arms) to crawl.

jumping kangaroos

All kangaroos are herbivores.

  • Do you know what a herbivore is?

If not, check out the Additional Resources, found in the right-hand sidebar. Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

A herbivore is an animal that only eats plants. Kangaroos spend much of their time grazing. Their diet is made up of mostly grasses. Sometimes kangaroos feed on tasty tree leaves, too.

eating kangaroo

  • Did you know there are four types of kangaroos?

Below, you will see pictures of each type. Discuss the similarities and differences you see among the kangaroos below:

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The red kangaroo is found all over Australia. Red kangaroos are usually found in the vast grasslands and deserts of Australia. Red kangaroo mothers only have one baby, also known as a joey, at a time. This little joey will seek shelter in its mother's pouch for about eight months. When the joey is about three months old, the joey will be big enough to leave the pouch to feed on grass and explore, but it will continue to go back and forth from its mother's pouch for about eight months. Check out the pictures below of red kangaroos:

red kangaroos

Eastern grey kangaroos are found in Australia and Tasmania. They can be found living among the trees of Australia's and Tasmania's forests and in the open grasslands. Eastern grey kangaroo mothers only have one baby at a time. The joeys will finally emerge from the pouch when they are around two months old. They will continue to go back to their mother's pouch for safety until they are around ten or eleven months old. Take a look at the eastern grey kangaroos shown below: 

eastern grey kangaroos

Western grey kangaroos are located in western Australia and southern Australia. These kangaroos can be found grazing in grasslands and enjoying the shade in the forest. Western grey kangaroos only have one baby at a time. The joey will stay in the pouch for about eight months. It will no longer return to the pouch when it is about ten months old. Look at the pictures of the western grey kangaroos below: 

western grey kangaroos

The antilopine kangaroo can be found in northern Australia. This type of kangaroo can be found relaxing in the forests of Australia on hot, sunny days. When the temperatures cool down, they graze in Australia's grasslands. Antilopine kangaroos have only one baby at a time. The joey will stay in its mother's pouch until it is about six months old. It won't be completely independent from the pouch until it is about eight months old. Look at the antilopine kangaroos below: 

antilopine kangaroos

Watch this amazing video, Kangaroos Can Jump 30 Feet High, by Discovery World Safari (below), to learn some cool facts about kangaroos! While watching the video, write or draw your answers to the questions below. You will need a pencil and paper for this part: 

  1. Where can kangaroos be found?
  2. What are groups of kangaroos called?
  3. How tall are kangaroos?
  4. How far can kangaroos leap?
  5. What are baby kangaroos called?

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Share your answers with your parent or teacher.

After discussing your answers, jump on over to the Got It? section.

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