Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire

This is a fun rhyming book that incorporates color and size.  It is a Dr. Suess Beginner Book and children all delight in this funny animal’s spot adventure.

Vocabulary

  • Spots (little daubs of color)
  • Zoo (a wildlife park where you can find many kinds of wild animals)

Materials Needed

  • Cardboard or poster board
  •  Music cd
  •  Non-fiction animal book
  • Bag of M&M’s or colored marking chips
  • Bar Graph
  • Picture of animal without spots

Introducing the story

Begin a conversation about the clothes that the children are wearing. Is anyone wearing red? green? blue? Is anyone wearing stripes? spots? a pattern? Show the children the cover of the book and ask them if they can guess what the story might be about. Can you guess which shape our story is about? (circle). Can you tell me anything else? (It’s about an animal, it has colors).

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.

Reading the Story

Slow down at the end of each page to see if the children can guess the rhyming word by listening to the clue.

Literacy/Phonological Awareness; progresses in recognizing matching sounds and rhymes in familiar words, games, stories, songs, and poems.

After Reading the Story

            Talk about spots.  What animals can they think of that have spots?  Do people have spots (freckles, birthmarks)?  What else can you think of that has spots?  Make a list of all the things they think of and attach it to the wall.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; Develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.

Music & Movement

Use any color or shape songs that you have taught the children. Three Primary Colors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu44JRTIxSQ Shapes Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6eTDfkvPmo

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

Ask the children to make a large group circle and then do group circle songs such as Looby Loo or Hokey Pokey. Can they form a circle with only verbal cues?

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multi-step directions.

Discovery

Bring in non-fiction books about animals. Challenge the children to look at the various animals for comparisons. (Can you find two animals with stripes? Can you find two animals with bumpy skin? Can you find some with spots?).

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; Develops increased ability to observe and discuss common properties, differences, and comparisons among objects and materials.

Blocks

            Make a sign that says ZOO on an index card.  Show it to the children and tell them that you are going to put it in the block corner for the day.  Encourage the children to make a zoo by sorting like animals together and making enclosures around them.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as shape or size. AND Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; shows growing capacity to maintain concentration over time on a task, question, or set of directions or interactions despite distractions and interruptions.

Art

Ask the children to draw a picture of where they would put their spots if they could put them anywhere. After they have drawn their picture, use a stamp pad to make finger print dots on top. Dictate their responses. (I would put spots on my baby brother. I would put spots on the car).

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Sand & Water

  Cut out a variety of circle sizes from cardboard.  Put these in the sand table.  Ask the children to sift through the sand to find all the circles.  Have them sort them by size.  With younger children you could cut out various color poster board and have them sort by color. 

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; begins to determine whether or not two shapes are the same size.

Library and Writing

                  Cut out several 2 inch circles from cardboard.  Show the children how to hold it on a piece of paper and trace around it.  Encourage them to name the shape. 

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in and complete a variety of tasks, activities, projects, and experiences.

Before the children begin cutting out circles, remind them about how to carry and use scissors correctly. 

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.

Ask the children to write one letter from their name on each circle as they cut them out (Kerry would need to cut out 5 circles).

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; progresses in abilities to use writing, drawing, and art tools, including pencils, markers, chalk, paint brushes, and various types of technology.

Math and Manipulatives

            Bring in a large bag of M&M’s, or a variety of colored chips. Give each child 10 and a bar graph.  Ask the children to sort the M&M’s onto a graph.    Ask them which color has the most?  How many greens do you have?  How many altogether?  Who in the group has the most brown’s?  Which is your favorite color?  When you are finished you can have them eat and count. 

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color or size. AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use language to compare numbers of objects with terms such as more, less, greater than, fewer, and equal to.

Outdoor Play

            On the playground lay hoola hoops on the ground.  Encourage the children to jump from hoop to hoop.  Play in the hoop, out of the hoop. 

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

Transitions

Dismiss the children to the next activity by color. If you’re wearing yellow go wash your hands, line-up, or choose your center.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multiple-step directions.

Resources

A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Philip C. Stead

Amos McGee works at the city zoo.  Every day he visits his good animal friends until one day when he calls in sick and does not go to the zoo.  Find out what happens and how his friends come to make him feel better.

Materials

  • One head shape per child
  • Several boxes and marbles
  • Frozen ice block/s (see sand and water)
  • Many boxes, cubbies, or baskets
  • Stuffed animals from home
  • Box of animal crackers

Vocabulary

  • Amble (stroll or saunter)

Before Reading the Story

Talk to the children about the importance of washing hands and covering sneezes to prevent germ sharing. 

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.

Reading the Story

On the page where the animals ask, “Where is Amos?”, ask the children how they think the animals are feeling?  On the next page where it says, “Later that day…”, ask the children what they think the animals are doing?  And when they get on the bus, where do you think they might be going?

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story. AND Language Development/Speaking & CommunicAting; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

After Reading the Story

Talk about what you should do if you are sick? What should you do if you are unable to stay home? (Cover your mouth when you sneeze, wipe your nose when it runs, wash your hands often).

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.

In the story Amos was friends with many different animals and made each feel special by doing special things with them.  Name a way that you show kindness to someone around you/ a friend.

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing friendships with peers.

Talk about what Amos friends did to make him feel better.  What does your parent do when you are sick?  What kinds of things can you do to show you are a good friends?

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; shows progress in developing friendships with peers.

Discovery

Make a Cover please when you sneeze poster. Give each child a head shape to color. Trace around their hand and help them cut it out. Glue a tissue paper onto the face and the hand on top of that. Write Cover please when you sneeze onto the paper.

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. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor SKills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Have the children take turns showing you their hand washing skills.

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

Music and Movement

Teach the children, The Germ Stopping Song (see resources).

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

While the children are washing their hands, teach them to repeat;

One bubble, two bubbles, three bubbles, four

Five bubbles, six bubbles, seven bubbles more.

Eight bubbles, nine bubbles, ten bubbles stop!

(Have children rinse hands and dry).

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count to ten and beyond.

Sing The Animals on the Bus go ____ on the way to the zoo. Sung to the tune The Wheels on the Bus. Let the children help make up what the animals do or say on the way to the zoo. (The tigers on the bus go growl, growl ,growl. The elephants on the bus sway back and forth, back and forth, back and forth)

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.

Blocks

Today would be a perfect day to add zoo animals and encourage the children to make a zoo.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.

Art

Put out an art project today that can be done with a partner. Marble paint inside a box having two children each hold an end of the box and roll the marbles back and forth. Add a huge piece of paper to the easel and encourage the children to do a friendship painting together.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; shows increasing abilities to use compromise and discussion in working, playing, and resolving conflicts with peers.

Sand and Water

Ahead of time freeze small plastic animals in blocks of ice.  Put into the table and ask the children to help you figure out how to get the animals out.  If you do not have small animals you could use pennies.  Several days ahead, fill a bowl aout an inch with water.  Drop in several small animals, freeze.  When it is frozen solid, make another layer.  Continue adding layers until the bowl is filled with small animals frozen in layers of ice.

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problems through active exploration, including trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.

Library and Writing

Amos read to the owl at night.  Read to the children as they are preparing for nap time.

If you could visit with any animal, what animal would you like to visit with and what would you do?  Illustrate   (I would visit the giraffe and we would pick apples,  I would visit the lion and we would slide on the bumpy slide).

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and play.

Dramatic Play

Let the children bring stuffed animals from home.  Provide boxes that they can use for cages.  Encourage them to be the zoo keeper and clean the cages, feed the animals, and play/exercise with the animals.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story. AND Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Math and Manipulatives

Use Animal Crackers to sort and count.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.

Amos played a board game with the elephant.  Get out a board game and play with the children.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Outdoor Play

Remind the children that Amos McGee would run races with the tortoise everyday.  Make a set of races to do with your children.  (Run from point A to point B.  Roll a ball from point A to point B.  Hold hands and run).

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance physical fitness.

Transitions

As you move about the room today, tell the children that you a want to go spend a little time visiting with the children in another center but that you will be back soon.

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; shows capacity to maintain concentration over time on a task, question, set of directions or interactions despite distractions and interruptions.

Resources

for counting animal crackers
frozen ice blocks