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want to do the story "dear zoo" next week has anyone got any tried and tested activities that have worked well with this story - for any of the 6 areas(!!)

Thanks ems

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I have used it as a bit of a circle time activity where we talked about what the different characteristics meant to us. Grumpy and naughty gave us a chance to think about our own behaviour, scary and fierce were thought provoking (what is the difference?)while jumpy and big were light relief. I only have a small group to work with but it was great.


We also wrote thank you letters to the zoo for the puppy.

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hi ems - i did this recently - think i posted it but not sure -

i brought some party boxes (luckily they had animals on them) and stuck a number on each -1 to eight.

i then collected each of the animals as per story and placed them in appropriate numbered box (as they appear in the story)-eg elephant box 1, giraffe in box 2.

the children were then asked to order the boxes by number (you could add spots to boxes for children to count if needed)

children are then given a box each -as the story is read they open the box to reveal the animal inside.


you could then ask children to order the animals by size - using appropriate size language.


each child in turn hides their animal in the room as others cover their eyes, the adult then uses positional/directional clues to encourage rest of group to find the hidden animals.


invite children to make appropriate home for their animal using variety of resources - thinking about the different types of home needed.


invite children to draw their animal


talk about the places where these animals live - discuss differeences of homes etc..


hope thats a help x

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I think I linked positional language... inside, outside, underneath etc..

Definitely writing letters and I think PE expressive dance how it would feel to be inside something...

Hope this helps, the children loved the book!


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We're just coming to the end of a topic on Dear Zoo. Here are a couple of the ideas that worked best.


1. Visit to local zoo- write a list of animals think we will see beforehand, recount afterwards, paintings of favourite animals seen etc.

2. Make own dear zoo books- lift the flap pages, making own pages from animals seen at the zoo and reasons why. e.g. porcupine was too spikey.

3. Animal patterns- give children a small selection of an animal pattern/coat. they have to continue the pattern.

4. sock snakes- stuff, sew up, sew on tongue, eyes and decorations eg sequins, buttons, pom-poms, beads etc

5. letters to the zoo- can you send me a .... but don't send me a.

6. Measuring- weight and length etc

7. Guided reading resources- make labels with clues. e.g. I have a long trunk. children read and match to correct animal from the story. they can then make up their own clues.

8. Role play areas- jungle explorers, vets, pet shop etc


I hope they all make sense. The children have really enjoyed this topic and it has definately been developed and taken further by them!

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Thank you so much for all your lovely ideas - now i am inspired and have booked us a visit to the zoo!

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