“Daddy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow. Daddy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow and we can stay all day….”
When I was creating lesson plans for this week and decided to make a real push for oral language practice in our zoo animal unit, I remembered this song. I thought it would be a fun tool to build vocabulary and do something new. I haven’t brought my guitar to school in a long time; I don’t know why I shy away from it because the kids love it and it makes their singing sound great!
This week we’re looking at zoo animals in general but having extra fun with lions. Kids love lions, I love lions. One of my drawings as a young child was of a lion – the picture looks like a squashed lion from an aerial view. (I’ve never been very good a perspective.) Lions are easy to draw so I like to teach the kids how and then have some fun with facts and stories about lions.
I spoiled myself and bought Jerry Pinkney’s fantastic Caldecott winner The Lion and the Mouse. It is a wordless book – a few “squeaks” and “roars” but basically amazing pictures on every page. I read the book to the children today using “story language,” telling about the relationship between the mouse and the lion, the events that brought them together and changed their lives.
“A little mouse, no bigger than a lion’s footprint, went out at dusk one night. She barely escaped the owl’s talons by scampering down a hole. When she came up out of the hole, she had no idea where she was. Sniffing and sniffing, she looked around and found herself on a lion’s back. Before she could escape, the lion snatched her up in his paw and roared, “Little Mouse, where do you think you’re going? You will make a tasty morsel for me tonight….”
We’ll reread the story tomorrow, make some 3-D lions and construction paper mice and act out the story together. We’ll do another round of our Circle Time activity describing animals from photo cards where we work in pairs to talk about animals, describing their coloring and skin coverings.
And we’ll learn another verse of The Zoo Song.
“See all the elephants with their long trunks swinging, snuffing up the peanuts and their long trunks swinging…..”