Giraffes Can’t Dance in the Classroom

One of my favorite things about teaching first grade is read alouds and reader response activities. My students are always so engaged in the picture books and chapter books that we read in class. They are so naturally motivated to complete book companion activities that correspond with their favorite books and I have to say that Giraffes Can’t Dance is always one of their favorites (Grab my Giraffes Can’t Dance Book Companion here)!


In my book companion for Giraffes Can’t Dance (by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees), you will find differentiated versions of three different reader response activities focusing on summarizing, character analysis, and central message of the story. Here’s a peek at my students completing the summarizing reader response!



Over the course of the last year, I’ve started making mini anchor charts for my classroom. I found that large anchor charts sometimes take up too much wall space, especially when I plan to keep some of them up for the entire school year. Included in my Giraffes Can’t Dance Book Companion, you can download this mini anchor chart for your classroom. I like to keep the charts simple so that students can use the information easily!


We also completed a simple adjectives activity along with our reader response. I re-read the story to the class. Students had a clip board, pencil, and this handout on the carpet as I re-read the story. Each time I read an adjective, students recorded the word on their adjectives page.


Our personal favorite was making puppets and writing our own stories. After completing our reader response activities, students made stick puppets of many of the characters from the story and wrote their own story about a flamingo that wants to join the dance party! They had so much fun! I forget how young first graders are until I give them time to PLAY with puppets! We even got out our little puppet show stage and students performed their stories for friends!



Eeek! So fun! My students also read this book in art class and do the most adorable art project with it! Take a peek at this blog post about how to complete the artwork with your students!


I just love book companions in my classroom! Here’s the link to purchase this Giraffes Can’t Dance Book Companion for your classroom!

You may also be interested in these other book companions!

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