That's the #1 question, isn't it.
As Roy Wilkinson said, the teacher of the Man and Animal block soon becomes overwhelmed by a flood of information. I'm starting to think of choosing my animals based on the artwork and illustrations I'm most drawn to, as well as which animals seem most appropriate for Leah. Here are the animals I've found resources for, in no particular order:
A collection of famous poems about the animals
tiger, nautilus, wolf, cat, mouse, snake, badger, ant, deer, camel, fish, louse, platypus, grasshopper, donkey, coyote, shark, yak, dromedary, rabbit, eagle, mole, spider, lamb, goldfish, dog, mongoose, cricket
and it includes a microbe poem!
Developing my Pinterest board
(idea-sharing via the internet is the greatest-ever boon to homeschoolers!)
and so on...
deer illustration from Sieglinde Francesca's book Coloring with Block Crayons, Emphasizing the Primary Colors, 2nd Edition
octopus from Live Ed curriculum sample
bird, fish, seal, camel as formed from their environment - from Live Ed curriculum sample; he specifically recommends Children's Animal World Encyclopediaby David Attenborough for 12 basic environments as habitats for life on earth
animals and illustrations from Catherine van Alphen Human and Animal Study booklet
(free PDF for which I give the strongest possible recommendation)
she specifically recommends the Children's Animal World Encyclopediaas her source for the illustrations
eagle, lion, and bull - trio watercolor painting
eagle, giraffe, bull, elephant, lion, horse - single animal watercolors
jellyfish, snail, oyster, fish, crocodile
Head animals: jellyfish, oyster, clam, mussel, cuttlefish or octopus, snail
Trunk animals: worms, insects, spider, millipede, crab, fish, eel, snake, crocodile, tortoise
Regarding Limb animals, she writes,
- "The Mammals
"The warm-blooded mammals and the birds are the only species with limbs that lift the body above the earth. In this way the mammals can be compared with the limb system of the human being although they walk or run on four legs, not two. The birds, however, run on two legs, like the human being.
"Like human beings, these animals also have freedom of movement but it is limited to the instinctual nature of each creature. Thus the monkey swings through the trees with four arms and a tail, while the cheetah hunts the buck at incredible speed and the elephant wallows in the muddy river. Each animal species is finely adapted to their environment with perfect ease and skill, but cannot choose to do anything outside of their particular nature. Only the human being has free will. It is for this reason that "Steiner has said that the human being is the only true ‘limb animal.’
Thus we may see, as illustrated in the diagram, that just as a baby is born head first and slowly develops the trunk and limbs, so in the evolution of creation the ‘head’ creatures in the sea came first, then the ‘trunk’ creatures like the fishes, ￼￼￼￼￼￼ insects and reptiles and finally the ‘limb’ animals in the mammals. The different creatures are specifically linked to the form of the human being."
Therefore, the threefold human being in terms of FORM is Head (shellfish, octopus), Trunk (fish, reptiles, insects, seals), and Limbs (mammals).
However, she makes another set of determinations regarding the threefold human being in terms of FUNCTION, which is Head / Nerve Sense (birds, rodents), Trunk / Breathing & Blood (carnivores: cat, dog, lion), Limb / Metabolic (ungulates, herbivores: cow, horse, camel)
More specific suggestions
Nerve-Sense animals: rodents (field mouse, grey squirrel, hare, beaver), birds (peacock, swan, marabou stork, starling, parrot, eagle)
Breathing and Blood Circulation System animals: cat family and dog family (carnivores)
Metabolic and Limb System animals: cow, bison, camel, elephant, giraffe, gazelle
She continues to give more examples of animals that may be suitable in various parts of the world, addresses animal research projects, the three day cycle, child development and so on. This extensive PDF file is written for a teacher who is new to Waldorf.
Animal list from Charles Kovac's book The Human Being and the Animal World
The Harvest Mouse
The Red Deer
Buddy, the Guide Dog
Animal list from Roy Wilkinson's book The Human Being and the Animal World
introduction: cuttlefish (head), mouse (trunk)
specific examples of animals as representing specialized parts: cow (stomach), horse (long middle finger & toe), elephant (trunk), lion (heart & lungs), camel (hump), fishes (trunk), birds (flying lung and flying head)
Painting in Waldorf Education
octopus - pp.86 to 87
cow - pp.87 to 89
eagle - pp.89 to 90
They state that animals with special characteristics (horns, beard, tail, neck, mane and hoofs) are subjects for drawing lessons "after proper observation." Also, that squirrel, fox, mouse, lion, elephant, and camel are best painted in later years.
Learning About the World Through Modeling: Sculptural Ideas for School and Homehas a series of clay exercises for shaping human forms, considering the geometry of the human form, the comparison between human and animal in basic form and gesture, and then animal studies.
bear in a cave, p.82
bird in a nest, p.83
mouse by its hold, p.84
and suggests turtle on a rock, beaver on a dam, squirrel on a log, duck in the waves, rabbit by a hole, and deer lying down in a hollow
I do not really care for Thomas Wildgruber's series of these paintings (the goat is the only one I think is any good, by which I mean good at capturing the personality of the animal) but I will still list what he has to offer. I do appreciate that he gives concise instructions and clearly states what paint colors are required.
octopus p.206 - cow p.207 - lion p.208 - eagle p.209 - horse p.210 - donkey p.211 - goat p.212 - swan p.213 - beaver p.214 - mouse and wolf p.215
He ends with a lesson on cave paintings. A good tie-in to this would be one of my favorite stories from the Montessori Third Great Lesson I used to tell: When Cave Men Painted
There's no picture of it on Amazon but I can tell you that it is worth tracking down if you are teaching about this period in Early Man.
Follow with the virtual tour of the cave at Lascaux