Recently we finished up a unit on wild animals; always a favorite with young children! We did some shared writing, listing wild animals on one side of the SmartBoard and pets on the other. The kids were very creative coming up with all kinds of different animals. One of my kiddos was excited to add "tapir" to the list of wild animals, saying it is his favorite animal. He knows all about it, where it lives, what it eats, etc. Keep in mind I teach Pre-K, so this is astounding!
Another student was sad that we wouldn't add "dinosaur" to the list of pets. He insists he has a pet dinosaur. We also hesitated over adding that to wild animals, since dinosaurs aren't around anymore. After some confusion and discussion, we decided that we were really talking about animals we could likely see in a zoo, although that answer didn't really satisfy anyone.
What did satisfy all of us was this darling craft! The kiddos got to choose between a lion and a tiger, which added some great oral language about colors and stripes and what on earth a "mane" is. One kid called it the lion's beard, and I liked that description. Kids have such a way of putting things.