Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lesson Plan & Activities: Animals Strike at the Zoo & Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo by Karma Wilson

I am revisiting one of my favorite picture book authors, Karma Wilson.  I love just about everything she has written!  Both books today are about trips to the zoo. 

Animals Strike at the Zoo: It’s True!  (ages 3-8)
Using lyrical and rhyming text as well as vibrant pictures, an animal strike is whimsically illustrated.  The animals all stop doing what they are made to do, such as prowling, howling, swimming, and climbing.  They make humorous demands like for a pool in their pen or for root-beer floats.  Some protest by painting themselves a different color or knitting scarves to hide their trademark feature.  The zookeeper tries to appease the animals, but they are still discontented and refuse to move.  Fortunately, one little girl’s love and appreciation changes everything! 
Use this book to accompany a unit on animals or a trip to the zoo (See Extension Activities).  It can also be utilized to identify attributes of personification or pick out rhyming words.  Discuss life lessons about being content and showing appreciation for others.  Or just enjoy this entertaining read-out-loud picture book with your class or kids. 

Never, EVER Shout in a Zoo (ages 5-9)
Despite a firm warning to the contrary, a little girl shouts in the zoo after an unfortunate mishap.  Thus, a chain of zany events is set off, involving a charging bear, a dreadful moose, a mischievous ape, and other animals.  All the animals eventually get loose, and the people are caged. This cautionary tale is highlighted further with bright animal and human characters (illustrated with watercolor paints and colored pencil) against a white back drop. There is also an unexpected, comical ending. 
Like Animals Strike, this book goes well with a study of animals. The pictures are more realistic, so they appeal to an older audience. This book can be included in a lesson on cause and effect during language arts.  The best part of the story is the language though.  Using repetitive phrasing, rhyme, and rhythm, the manic mood and animal tomfoolery is magnified.  The use of adjectives and alliteration begs to be used in a lesson plan, so I wrote one J:  Never, Ever Shout in a Zoo Lesson Plan and Alliterative Animal Handout 
Extension Activities

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