Rockin' Read Alouds

Giraffes Can't Dance

I have been thinking a lot about different books that I can do different reading comprehension activities with for 4th grade. This year I will be teaching 4h grade reading ONLY and I need to start getting things in order. I figured I would start sharing ideas and activities that I come across or think up on my own. Every weekend (I hope) I will choose one picture book and a comprehension skill to share. I will also try to include a FREE printable to go with it. My hope is that my bloggy friends will find some good stuff they can use each week and possibly share their ideas each week too. I hope you enjoy...

The first book I want to spotlight is my all time favorite book. I have mentioned it before, but I just had to do it again... Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae

Amazon Review:
Gerald the giraffe doesn't really have delusions of grandeur. He just wants to dance. But his knees are crooked and his legs are thin, and all the other animals mock him when he approaches the dance floor at the annual Jungle Dance. "Hey, look at clumsy Gerald," they sneer. "Oh, Gerald, you're so weird." Poor Gerald slinks away as the chimps cha-cha, rhinos rock 'n' roll, and warthogs waltz. But an encouraging word from an unlikely source shows this glum giraffe that those who are different "just need a different song," and soon he is prancing and sashaying and boogying to moon music (with a cricket accompanist). In the vein of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Gerald's fickle "friends" quickly decide he's worthy of their attention again.
With this rhyming, poignant (in a cartoonish way) tale, Giles Andreae, author of Rumble in the Jungle, and numerous other picture books, shows insecure young readers that everyone can be wonderful, even those that march to the beat of a different cricket. The rhymes are somewhat awkward, but the bold, bright watercolors by Guy Parker-Rees will invite readers to kick up their heels and find their own internal harmony. (Ages 3 to 6) --Emilie Coulter

Reading Skill:
I use it for character, simple summary, and making connections

I always start by brainstorming and making predictions with my students. If there is time, we might do a picture walk. 

Activities:
1. Character map: I like to do a character map for the beginning, middle, and end. I then discuss with my students how he changed from the beginning of the book to end of the book. I would discuss Gerald's feelings in the book and have the students make connections. One thing you could do, especially if you LOVE sticky notes like I do, is have a cute picture of Gerald (or just a cute giraffe would do) and have the kids write words that describe Gerald.

2. Character (younger grades): I am in love with glyphs. I made a glyph for Giraffes can't dance that I used this summer for the library program I did at my school. I would discuss character with the younger students and then have them complete the glyph answering questions to describe themselves.

3. Making Connections: Karen at Fun Times in Fourth Grade has a great post on Making Connections, that I can't wait to try out with my students. It is so simple, but powerful...it is all about giving the students the words they need to be successful and constantly using the correct vocabulary over and over again.

4. Summary: Somebody Wanted But So Then...is HUGE, and it's great for teaching students summary. Kids have sooooooo much trouble with this and SWBST helped my students tremendously.  Megan at I Teach, What's Your Super Power, has a really cute poster for SWBST. I think I need to get crackin' and make me one of those. If you notice....sticky notes will come in handy for this as well.

I hope you were able to get some ideas from this and if you have any ideas to share about this book, please leave a comment:)

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