Author Giles Andreae and illustrator Guy Parker-Rees are the creative team behind the K-2 children's picture book, "Giraffes Can't Dance." This book deals with the concepts of believing in yourself, trusting your abilities and following your dreams. It also clarifies the importance of accepting help from others. You can also talk about how practice often makes perfect with your class after reading this book.
Oral Reading Response Activity
Read the book to your class. Ask your students to share with you how they are like Gerald the giraffe. Have them explain how they are different from him as well. Ask them what they personally have had to struggle to learn how to do. Ask them if anyone has ever made fun of them. Discuss how this made them feel. Allow all of your students adequate opportunities to respond orally in this class discussion of your reading of this book.
Reading Response Through Drawing
Give each of your students some paper and crayons. Ask them to draw pictures of themselves in a situation that Gerald the giraffe might understand. Explain that everyone has difficulty learning to do something. Instruct them to use one side of the paper to draw how they felt and looked while learning to do a task that was difficult for them. When your students have finished their first drawings, have them turn their papers over to the other blank side. Now, instruct them to draw themselves as they looked and felt after mastering this task that was so difficult to learn.
Read, Pair, Share Activity
Read the book as a class. Break your students into pairs. Have them share their private thoughts and feelings about the book with one another in their assigned pairs. Ask each pair to think of two words that describe Gerald the giraffe. Give students sufficient time to work on this activity and then, as a class, discuss the words each pair came up with to describe Gerald.
How Can I Help Activity
Discuss, as a class, how Gerald was picked on by others in the book. This is a great opportunity to discuss strategies to help others when bullying is witnessed. It is also an appropriate time to discuss how students can help each other through difficult times at school. Be sure to discuss safety issues thoroughly. Have your students create one large poster to hang in the hall of the school that shows the many ways students can help each other at school.
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