Alex Alligator and his Fearsome Jaws, by Paul Flemming

Alex alligator does not understand why no one wants to be his friend. This book is a good book to talk about bullying behaviors and also teeth! Children like this story because the alligator snaps.


Alligator mouth for game

Example of A for alligator drawing, B for butterfly, A for ice cream cone****

Several toothbrushes for painting.


Fearsome (terrifying or frightening)

Handsome (good looking)

Before Reading the Story

Tell the children that each of us is very special and each has a feature/something special they should be proud of themselves for/about. Give the children an example about yourself ( I like that my legs are strong so I am a good runner, I like that my hair is long so it moves in the wind, I like that my eyes are green like my cats). Let the children name some things that they like about themselves. Introduce the story by showing the children the cover. Tell them that this is Alex Alligator and he is proud about something too. Can anybody guess? He is proud of his fearsome jaw and many teeth. Ask, What do you think will happen if he shows all those teeth to the other animals?

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept;begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.  AND Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell nad dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; amd to predict what will happen next in a story.

Reading the Story

Use the snapper that the story provides and show the children how to make an alligator using their hand in an open/closed fashion. Have them snap along with the story.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

After Reading the Story

Ask, why were all the animals afraid of Alex alligator? (He had mean teeth, they thought he was gonna eat them, he’s an alligator). Explain to the children that sometimes people do not know that they are doing things that make other people afraid of them or not want to play with them. Give some examples, minus names, of things that you have seen in your classroom. (Yesterday I saw one of my friends go into the block center and another child snapped at him, You can’t play here! This morning I saw one of my friends ask if she could have the glue and another child just pretended that she was not even there). How does it make you feel when people treat you badly or snap at you (sad, scared, mad). Let’s practice some better ways to talk to people. Tell the children that you are going to play a friend game. Go around the circle and ask the children questions about being friends. (Kerry what would you do if I asked you for the scissors but you were still using them? What could you say if a friend was watching you build with legos? What should you say if a friend pushes you when we are lining up to go outside?). Think of times in your own room where you see situations arise. If necessary help the children by talking through appropriate responses.

Social & Emotional Development/Social relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry; and in expressing empathy or caring for others.


Bring in any real teeth that you might have for the children to look at with a magnifying glass. If you have no real teeth, bring in a book of animals that shows their teeth. (Ask your Dentist for any of your old x-rays)

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Music and Movement

Do the movement rhyme, Here Comes Hungry Alligator by Lori Van Winden

Here comes hungry alligator       

(Put one hand on top of the other and sway back & forth )

He goes chomp, chomp, chomp    

(Open and close hands)

In the swamp, swamp, swamp.

So swim fast little fish                     

(Use one hand to make a fish swimming)

Birds, fly away!                                 

(Raise arms and flap)

Move along turtles and crabs        

(wiggle fingers)

Hurry out of the way!

Because here comes the hungry  Alligator   

(Put one hand on top of the other and sway back & forth.)

Going chomp, chomp, chomp       

(Open and close hands)

In the swamp, swamp, swamp.

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.


Challenge the children to make a path using blocks from one side of the center to the other.  Can they walk across without falling off?  Can they walk it backwards?  When finished the path may look thin like a balance beam or wider like a sidewalk.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows progress in using standard and non-standard measures for length and area of objects.  AND Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.


Give the children pieces of yellow paper that has been cut into a large tooth shape. Put out bowls of white paint and toothbrushes. The children can brush the teeth to a pearly white.  While they work, talk to them about dental hygiene and allow them to share their toothbrushing experiences.

Creative Arts/Art; begins to understand and share opinions about artistic products and experiences.

Library and Writing

Show the children how to make a capital A on a piece of paper. Now turn it on its side and draw an alligator head! The children can add teeth and an eye. Try doing lots of different letters, what shapes can they make?

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of letters with their shapes and sounds.

Sand and Water

Water play. Add long rectangle blocks to pretend to be alligators.

Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.

Dramatic Play

While brushing your teeth today, pretend that you are alligators. Brush all your handsome teeth and when you are through, smile a toothy grin and then chomp, chomp, chomp just for fun.

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; shows growing independence in hygiene nutrition, and personal care when eating , dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth, and toileting.

Math and Manipulatives

Play, The Alligator’s Fearsome Teeth. Make 4 copies of the alligator mouth. Cover them with contact paper. Show the children how to roll tiny balls of play dough to represent the teeth. Now you are ready to begin the game. The children take turns rolling the dice. They may then add that many teeth to their alligator. The winner is the first to fill the alligator’s mouth with fearsome teeth.

Mathematics/Numbers & operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Outdoor Play

Use a balance beam and practice walking the plank.  My class liked to use the edge of the sandbox as the balance beam.  They often played that if they fell off into the sandbox that there was an alligator or shark ready to eat them.  Encourage them to try walking forward, backward, and sliding along the beam.

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; shows increasing levels of proficiency, control, and balance in walking, climbing, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, and galloping.


As the children go to the next activity ask them to answer a question about teeth and dental care. (What kind of doctor takes care of your teeth? When should you brush your teeth? What will happen if you do not brush your teeth? Is drinking soda pop healthy for your teeth? Is it ok to try to open things with your teeth? Why not?).

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as  fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety , and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

Dear Parent- today we talked about the importance of brushing our teeth.  Children should brush their teeth every day.  Watch your child to make sure that he/she is brushing up and down as well as back and forth.


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About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.