June 15, 2010

Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo is a storybook for young children by Rod Campbell. I find it very useful to teach zoo animals as well as adjectives. I have bought it during this school year and I started to work on it one month ago. I have prepared a teaching unit based on it and I’m very happy with the results obtained in the classroom.

I made some cards with the story animals (elephant, giraffe, lion, monkey, snake, camel, frog) to teach them to my 5-year-old students.
The unit sketch can be something like this:
In the first lesson I teach those animals by listen, listen and repeat, listen and touch activities, … In one of the activities I tell the children that the classroom is a zoo and there are many animals inside, I will call out animals and they will have to imitate them with sounds, gestures and movements; apart from the animals seen in this lesson, I will call out others already learnt.
In the second lesson, I will reinforce the vocabulary about animals through some drills and a miming activity (where each child has to imitate the animal I whisper and the rest has to guess it). Once they know it, I will start with the adjectives related to each of the animals (big-elephant, fierce-lion, tall-giraffe, scary-snake, naughty-monkey, grumpy-camel, jumpy-frog), I try to elude from them the adjectives in their mother tongue and I translate the word into English. Then, when I show the animal card we say the adjective and we make the gesture. We also play the zoo game to review animals.
The goal of the third lesson is to reinforce the vocabulary, animals and adjectives, through different activities, games and worksheets. We also take photos representing the adjectives so then, we will use them as flashcards. At the end of this lesson, to create expectation I show the storybook to children, we read the title, we make guesses about the content and we name the animals in the book cover.

In the next stage and lesson, I read the story at the same time that they lift the flaps and discover the animal in each box. At the end, they have to guess the animal the zoo sends. I ask them about their opinion and we retell the story, this time they participate by saying the animals and the adjectives. We also start to make a big poster about the story by colouring and cutting the pictures on the next pdf file.
Finally, in the following lessons, after telling the story several times, they are able to do it by themselves.

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