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Zoo unit Day 1 Giraffes

I LOVE this time of year.  My little sweeties are becoming independent thinkers and learners who have blossomed into readers and writers AND all of my Favorite units are in the Spring!!  Zoo animals, Dinosaurs (my fave), and Insects (my fave),  What???!! I can have more than one favorite!  :)  I spend two weeks on each of these units.  There is just something about these topics that get kids super excited about learning!  Today we learned all about Giraffes.  You can see the cutie patootie giraffe above that we made from my zoo unit.  

So... I decided to change up my charts a little bit.  We were getting a little bit bored with the Schema charts (although I still had them turn and talk about their schema with a partner before we started because I think this step is so important.).  
We are working on listening to a text with purpose and understanding so before I read the nonfiction giraffe books I told them what the topics for our chart were.  Type of animal, habitats, diet, and how they adapt to their environment.  After we read about giraffes we talked about the information we learned and added it to our chart.  We also added an interesting facts section on a piece of regular copy paper because we kept finding cool facts that didn't quite fit the categories on our chart.  For example, Giraffes have a long blue tongue that can be as long as a child's arm.  ewwww!  :) 

Nonfiction writing about giraffes.

We sang this beautiful song by Debbie Clement.  My kids loved the song and the real life pictures
from her book are amazing.  LOVE!!!

After we "sang" the book we did a quick directed drawing of a giraffe to add to our anchor chart display.

Whew!  We learned a lot today and had so much fun doing it.  As many of you know I start my morning routine with a Chit-Chat message.  I named it Chit-Chat because we ALWAYS end with a question that requires us to think and then turn and talk with a partner.  This type of morning message is a great way to build on oral language, phonics and reading skills.  It also incorporates Science or Social Studies because it always a review of the information we learned the day before.
Here's my Chit-Chat message all ready to go for tomorrow morning.
We've been working on the chunky monkey strategy so you can see that I've left out a lot of chunks in the message below.   

I don't always give the kids a copy of the message to write with me.  I sometimes just have them write on white boards.  But when they were leaving today some of them asked me to make them one for tomorrow.  So, I'm sharing it with you.  You can click on the picture below to download the message.

answer key:  Giraffes are the tallest land mammal.
They are herbivores.
Wild giraffes live on the continent of Africa.
They sleep standing up with one eye open.

***I've been asked several times to make a Chit Chat resource.  I have it on my very long to do list! :)

If you'd like to check out my zoo unit on TPT you can click on the picture below.  
It is full of patterns to make zoo animals, nonfiction writing, fun poetry ideas and activities, math activities and more!

I'll be back tomorrow with Zebra fun!


  1. The giraffes came out totally adorable =)

  2. So cute! We are going on a field trip to the zoo at the end of the year and I am definitely going to have to buy this unit to use! I'll have to wait until the next sale :)

    Thank you so much for sharing all of your goodies! As a first year teacher, it is awesome to see so many wonderful ideas!


  3. Looks terrific! I love the chit-chat page! Thank you!

    First Grade Blue SKies

  4. I loved seeing all the giraffe ideas ! I have your zoo unit, but I start in August with zoo and miss out on the opportunity to do all the great writing. I will be changing things next year!
    This will be a great reference.

  5. You stuff is too stinkin' cute! My kiddos are working on your American Unit right now. We just read about the Statue of LIberty today and we went through your guided drawing activity of Lady Liberty. My kiddos were so excited to be able to draw her! Thank you! :)

  6. I love the zoo unit idea! I really hope that I get to move down from 4th grade next year so that I can really incorporate some of these units! Thanks!
    Daisy Days for Learning

  7. I LOVE the idea of doing a zoo unit, I had not thought of that! Thanks for always inspiring me!
    Growing Readers and Writers in K

  8. I got your Zoo Unit last year and I cant wait to do it again THIS YEAR!! MAY here we come!! LOVE!

    Thanks for being GREAT!

    1. Yay! Thanks Sarah I will probably be adding some emergent readers to the unit so stay tuned! :)

  9. Thank you for always sharing such wonderful ideas! Your units are fantastic and so well done. Your kids are so lucky to have you! All of us out here in blogland that you inspire are lucky to have you too! THANK YOU!

    First Grade Brain Sprinkles

    1. Melanie, Thank you so much for the sweet compliment! I really appreciate it. :)

  10. Your giraffes are so adorable! Can I come to your class to learn about Giraffes?! I could definitely do the giraffe craft with my pre-k kiddos when we do zoo later in the spring!

    Creating & Teaching
    Creating & Designing

  11. Im loving your Zoo stuff, Im thinking May for a Zoo unit, Im still on a Dr. Suess kick and the kids are still loving it.

    We did your Cat in the Hat glyphs today... I posted a few pics if you'd like to see them!

    Ms. Rachel’s Room

  12. I love the chit chat format for your morning message. Just enough of a twist to make it much more interesting than what I've been doing. Thanks for sharing!

    Grade ONEderful

  13. This unit is sooooo cute! Thanks for sharing. I love the chit-chat format.

  14. Very, very cute. I love e giraffe facts. Now you have me intrigued and interested in the zoo unit!

  15. I love your zoo unit! The patterns are just too cute!

    Thank you for the chit-chat freebie! I am so glad to hear a chit-chat resource is on your to-do list! I'll definitely be purchasing it! :-)

    Primary Junction

  16. I purchased your zoo unit last year and did it towards the end of the year. It was FULL of great engaging ideas. The writing the kids were able to produce was amazing, I feel it bumped up the rigor for my class and helped me organize my unit.
    I LOVED the patterns for the cute! I can't wait to use it again. Thanks for sharing your amazing talents with all of us.

  17. Deanna, I just love giraffes and these little guys your kiddos made really are appealing! I live in South Africa and just this last Sunday we visited a small local game farm and saw sooooo many animals including these gorgeous, gentle giants! It is so nice to see them roaming freely! Enjoy your zoo unit! :) Michelle

  18. These activities are precious Deanna! I just love fun stuff like this!

  19. Deanna!!!! Thanks so much for including my picture book -- to the song that I had written previously. I'm so excited to hear the response from your mature K-Kiddos! LUVLUVLUV being 'featured' in your blog!!!!!

    All the best.

    Debbie Clement

  20. Deanna, thanks so much for all the amazing things that you share. I love your work. I purchased your Zoo unit last year and am looking forward to using it again this year.
    I do have a question about your directed drawing lessons. Sounds like a great idea. Is that something you do on your own? is there a resource? thanks for your help.

  21. I will be doing the same hopefully. Im so anxious to get them. Who are you going to for removal. I live in New Orleans, my plastic surgeon is in BAton rouge. I go monday for my consult to them out. Also is he doind capsule removal and suturing internal tissue?
    cosmetic surgery baton rouge

  22. I love all of your units! I think this is my new favorite! I was just wondering if you were planning on sharing your lesson plans again in the future? I always loved seeing how you managed to do it all. You are a great inspiration! Thanks for all you do!

  23. I purchased your zoo unit and L-O-V-E all the activities!
    Ms. McBee’s Kinderbugs



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