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giraffes can't dance lesson plan

Updated on June 13, 2015

Giraffes Can't Dance

Grade Level: Pre-K

Topic: Language and Literacy Development, Social Studies, Social Emotional, Creative Development, Health and Physical Development

Short lesson overview:

Students will listen to a story about Gerald the giraffe, who feels a left out because he thinks he can’t dance. After finally trying without the critical judgment of the other animals, Gerald finds out that he can dance if he has the right music. Lead a discussion about things that are sometimes hard, but important enough to try anyway. Encourage students to share similar experiences and then create pictures that will make up a class book. When the book is complete, read it to the class and then discuss what the students liked about the book. Encourage comments on the creative efforts of their classmates.


PDM5.4b Demonstrates coordination and balance in a variety of activities.

SED1.4a Identifies self as a unique member of a specific group or demographic that fits into a larger world picture.

SED1.4c Shows confidence in a range of abilities and the capacity to accomplish tasks and take on new tasks.

APL1.4a Takes initiative to learn new concepts and tries new experiences. Initiates and completes new tasks by himself/herself.

APL2.4a Demonstrates eagerness to learn about and discuss new topics, ideas and tasks.

APL4.4a Engages in elaborate and sustained imagined play and can distinguish between real life and fantasy.

APL5.4c Demonstrates inventiveness, imagination, and creativity to solve a problem.

CLL2.4b Connects new vocabulary from activities, stories, and/or books with prior experiences and conversations.

CLL5.4c Discusses books or stories read aloud and can identify characters and setting in a story.

CLL5.4d Makes real-world connections between stories and real-life experiences.

CLL8.4a Demonstrates interest in different kinds of literature, such as fiction books, non-fiction books, and poetry, on a range of topics.

CLL9.4a Draws pictures and copies letters and/or numbers to communicate.

CLL9.4b Uses writing tools.

CLL9.4c Uses writing for a variety of purposes.

CLL9.4d Writes some letters of the alphabet.

CD-SS1.4b Describes similarities and differences between self and others.

CD-CR2.4a Uses materials to create original work for self-expression and to express individual creativity.

CD-CR2.4c Shows appreciation for different types of art and creative work of others.

CDCR3.4a Uses familiar rhymes, songs, or chants and musical instruments to express creativity.

Essential Question(s):

What have I done that makes me proud?

What have my friends done that makes them feel proud?

Key Skills: Students will:

· Relate events in a story to real life situations.

· Express pride in themselves by drawing a picture of an important accomplishment.

· Respect others for their abilities and accomplishments.

· Create original works of art to express pride in themselves.

· Appreciate the creative efforts of others.

Materials and Resources:

· Wiggle and Whirl, Clap and Nap CD by Sue Schnitzer (2005)

· African drums, rain sticks, shakers

· Crayons/markers/colored pencils

· Drawing Paper

·Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Reese (Purple Enterprises Ltd, 1999)

· Paint

· Paintbrushes

· Pencils

· Plastic wild animals

· Recording of Giraffes Can’t Dance

Introduction (Activating Hook):

Music and Movement Activity: “Can You Clap?” by Sue Schintzer

· Can you clap? (fast, slowly)

· Can you pat your legs? (softly, softer)

· Can you stamp your feet? (fast, faster)

· Can you dance? (ballet, tap, twirl, sit down)

· Can you eat? (macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, ice cream cone, milk)

· Can you sing? (high, low, ABCs)

Step-by-Step Procedures:

1. Read the story aloud.

2. Ask the students what they remember about the story.

3. Ask: “Has anyone ever wanted to do something that was very hard?”

4. Invite the students to draw a picture of themselves doing something that they do well. Encourage dictation.

5. Combine the drawings into a class book.

6. Read the class book and invite the students to discuss what parts of the book they liked.

7. Document comments about other student artwork.

8. Ask: What is the next thing that you would like to work on so that you will be able to do it?


Print the animal pictures from the story on lint-free felt. Offer these at the felt board so that the students can retell this story or create their own stories using these characters. Reread the story together, allowing a team of students to use the felt board animals to act out the parts.

Centers Suggestions:


· Paint, easel paper, animal sponges, paintbrushes: encourage students to use their creativity to create unique works of art


· African drums, rain sticks, shakers, and Live on Ciut CD by Nyamamusango Marimba & Mbira Ensemble: play the CD in the background while students explore the instruments


· Provide plastic wild animals for children to manipulate and create habitats, or maybe a dance in the jungle!


· Make animal masks from paper plates or collect old Halloween costumes of animals for role-play


· Library Listening Center: Giraffes Can’t Dance and a recording of the story

· Stuffed Animals and a variety of books for independent reading

· Animal Stencils, markers, paper


· Provide animal counting/sorting manipulative toys and sorting trays


· Animal “Follow the Leader”: move like animals on the playground or around the classroom if weather does not permit going outdoors


· Collect fabric swatches, some fake fur would be nice, too, and provide magnifying glasses for exploring

· Provide National Geographic for Kids magazines or some other animal focused informative literature. A great source for animal information online is at

Giraffes Can't Dance


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    • prekcarolyn profile image

      prekcarolyn 4 years ago from Georgia

      I am so happy that you found my lesson helpful!

    • profile image

      Angela 5 years ago

      Awesome! My original plan had to be tossed and last minute i found this! What a lifesaver! Awesome job! Thank you thank you thank you for sharing!