Picture Story Book Of The Week – Giraffes Can’t Dance

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Teacher review for Giraffes Can’t Dance.  These reviews are designed to assist teachers with implementing and incorporating numerous reading strategies into everyday activities.  Each book review will include suggestions for class discussions on some, or all of the following reading strategies; Predicting, Making Connections, Main Idea, Summarizing, Inferring, Fact and Opinion, Word Meaning in Context, Visualizing, Recalling Facts and Details, Real and Make Believe, Compare and Contrast, Cause and Effect, Author’s Purpose and Sequencing.  Use this review as a teaching tool to spark meaningful class discussion or create your own comprehension questions for group reading sessions or individual reading.  Check back every Sunday for a new review or click subscribe so that you never miss out!

General
Name: Giraffes Can’t Dance
Author: Giles Andreae
Illustrator: Guy Parker-Rees
Pages: 32

Summary: Gerald the Giraffe has always struggled to fit in with his peers.  He is clumsy and awkward.  When all the other animals start dancing with ease, poor Gerald attempts to join in but is ridiculed and mocked.  Eventually Gerald learns to dance to his own song and the other animals love his new moves.  A lovely rhyming book that teaches children to be true to yourself and not let the opinions of others get you down.

Reading strategies: **Note, to avoid confusion, pages start from the first text and image**
Front Cover
Predicting: What do you think this story will be about? Use the heading and the picture to help you.
Pages 1 & 2
Visualizing: Describe Gerald the Giraffe in your own words.
Pages 3 & 4
Compare and Contrast: What is Gerald good at? What is he bad at?
Pages 5 & 6
Finding Word Meaning: What might the word “prance” mean? What clues did you use to help you?
Recalling Facts and Details: Why did Gerald feel sad?
Pages 7 & 8
Real and Make Believe: Do you think that animals dancing together is real or make believe?
Pages 9 & 10
Compare and Contrast: How is Gerald different from the other animals? How is he the same?
Pages 11 & 12
Inferring: How do you think Gerald is feeling about trying to dance? How do you know?
Find Word Meaning: What might the word “daft” mean? What clues did you use to help you?
Pages 13 & 14
Figurative Language: What do you think “rooted to the spot” might mean? How do you know?
Connections: When is a time that you have felt different to others or been made fun of?
Cause and Effect: What caused Gerald to feel so sad?
Pages 15 & 16
Fact and Opinion: Gerald says the moon can be beautiful, is this a fact or an opinion? How do you know?
Pages 17 & 18
Recalling Facts and Details: What does the cricket think the sweetest music is?
Pages 19 & 20
Real and Make Believe: What things happen on these pages that are real? What things are make believe?
Pages 21 & 22
Author’s Purpose: What words does the author use to show that Gerald is a good dancer and that he is happy?
Pages 23 & 24
Predicting: What do you think Gerald will do next, now that he knows how to dance?
Cause and Effect: What caused Gerald to be able to dance?
Pages 25 & 26
Finding Word Meaning: What might the word “entranced” mean? What clues did you use to help you?
Compare and Contrast: How do the opinions of the other animals change towards Gerald from the start of the book to now?
Pages 27 & 28
None
Pages 29 & 30
Connections: How can you relate Gerald’s message about dancing to real life?

Final Discussion
Fact and Opinion: The other animals think that Gerald is a bad dancer, is this a fact or an opinion? At the end of the story they change their minds and think that Gerald is a good dancer, is this a fact or an opinion?
Main Idea: What do you think is the message of this story? Can you come up with a different heading for this book?
Sequencing: What happened first, second and third in this story?

Extra Activities
Visualizing – Describe Gerald as he is dancing at the start of the book. Describe Gerald as he is dancing at the end of the book.
Making Connections – Has there ever been a time when you have felt left out because you weren’t good at something? How did this make you feel? What did you do to solve it?
Summarizing – Summarize this story in your own words using 5 dots points (level 1), 5 simple sentences (level 2), 5 sentences with descriptive language and conjunctions (level 3).
Inferring – How do you think Gerald was feeling when the other animals were making fun of him for trying to dance? How do you know?

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