Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Zoo Animals

It's new! It's funny! It's got songs!  Zoozical is the whole storytime all in one package. It's got a plot -- the snow is getting all the animals down, so they put on a show -- it's got music, like great songs, "Oh my darling, Oh my darling, Oh my darling porcupine!" and even an ABC songfest finale.  Oh, and it's by Judy Sierra.

One Night at the Zoo by Judith Kerr
Still a Gorilla by Kim Norman
Bouncing Time by Patricia Hubbell

The Seals on the Bus is perfect to take us for our trip to the zoo. Off we go, honking like geese and clapping like seals, and the moms really love the humor.

How many of the kids in your audience have ever been to the zoo? What did they see? What did they smell? Who did they feed? This is a great one for audience participation.

A Sick Day for Amos Mcgee (Caldecott Winner)
This book needs a bit of dramatization to really bring it off. Start with getting into character! Since most of us are bouncy petunias, metamorphose into old men. Bring a cane to storytime and talk and walk like a friendly old geezer.

Also, to make the most of this book, practice your double take. Play chess with the elephant?!!! Run races with...a tortoise!!!

Tiny Little  Fly. 
Wow, look at that tiny little fly on the cover next to the giant tiger.

Some more fun ones
I pride myself on my readaloud skills. I can read with bad accents; I can read superfast; I can jump, dance, and gesture on cue. But even I can't top John Lithgow reading as he inimitably reads his wonderful "Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo." I checked it out for my four year old grandson, and after two months tried to get it away from him to take back. "I still really love that book," he insisted.

Animal Strike at the Zoo. It's True! Do Animals Get Paid to Be in the Zoo?

Yeah, but what IS a strike? Well, look at the cover. What are those animals doing? NOTHING! Huh. Let's look inside and see if we can figure out what a STRIKE is and why the animals are having one.

For Older Kids
Pssst! by Adam Rex
A visitor to the zoo is asked to run some errands for the zoo creatures and bring them back some of their favorite treats. This one really hones in on the realms of possibilities. I read it to my 3 year old grandson on the way home from Lowry Park Zoo. He was just on the edge of a meltdown, and he really zoomed in on the magic of it all.
Sure animals love to read -- but they all want something different! How does a librarian stay ahead of the game?
Still a Gorilla by Kim Norman
Splat the Cat is sooo looking forward to his class trip to the zoo. Too bad Sylvester the Mouse sneaks in and wrecks the penguin pen. Good thing Sylvester the Mouse figures out how to fix it!


Old McDonald Had a Zoo
Turn this adaptation into a puppet show. Distribute your lions, bears, penguins, etc., among your storytime visitors and go to each by turns: "And in this zoo he had a LION, eieio, with a ROAR here, and a ROAR there..." Big interactional fun.

Zoo Craft

Make a Spiral Snake Puppet

Spiral snake template is from Dorling Kindersley . I downloaded and xeroxed onto orange cardstock. The two-year-olds were very happy to be told to apply glue to the entire area of the snake — they love any excuse to glue. Of course they could have used markers or tissue collage, but the sheen of colored cellophane looks so snaky and slinky, and we don’t work with it very often. After they collaged the snake:

Next year though I’m going to give them strips instead of scraps. The collage will go faster (three year old attention span) and then the snakes will have nice stripes.


Dorling Kindersley Kids
Lots of free downloads of crafts and templates here. These materials are available for students looking for excellent quality photos to download for reports, as well.
Childhood 101
Some great activities for kids to do on a trip to the zoo.

Don't you love the way it curls up my finger?

I made him into a puppet. (Take a strip of tape, masking preferably, and apply a smaller piece to the middle of that. Then tape the sticky ends of this bandaid-looking thing to the back of the head, creating a finger loop.

He was ready to be cut out. 

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