A Crocodile in the Family Learning Time

Resource type: 
Learning Time







 A Crocodile in the Family by Kitty Black and Daron Parton 

Crocodile hatches from his egg to be welcomed into the bird family. But why do the birds keep him? Crocodile is helpful, strong and fun but the birds have a very special reason why they keep him. 

The clever use of colour and enlargement of words throughout the text highlights the rare and usual words you will add to your child’s vocabulary. Colourful and bright illustrations depict Australian animals trying to understand why would the birds keep a crocodile. 

A fun and beautiful story about belonging, acceptance and the meaning of family. 

Key Message for Parents | The best learning happens in nurturing relationships 

Children’s brains adapt to the environment in which they find themselves. Positive, warm and predictable environments are critical to optimize brain development. Children will feel secure when the adults around them are considerate, respectful and provide lots of positive interactions. 

Some ideas to share with parents/carers are: 

  • Praise a child’s effort, no matter how small. 
  • Spend time playing, reading and singing with your child. They love to be with you and share fun experiences. 

 Australian Early Years Learning Framework | Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity 

When children feel safe, secure, and supported they grow in confidence to explore and learn. 

Educators can support children’s learning by 

  • Encouraging children to make choices and decisions. Provide open ended play opportunities that allow children to decide what they want to do. 
  • Spending time interacting and talking with each child. Talk about what you can see in the environment around you. Talk about what you are doing that day. Ask questions about what the child is doing. 

Before Reading 

Explain that the book you are reading today is about families. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Today’s story is called A Crocodile in the family? Does anyone have a crocodile in their family? 

A fun technique to teach children about how a book works is to hold the book upside down and backwards. See if any of the children notice your mistake. They might point out its upside down so flip it the right way. Do they notice its backwards? Turn the book the right way and begin the story. 

Read the title and run your finger under the words as you show the cover. Ask the children what they see. Explain that its your job the read the words and the children’s job to read the pictures! 

During Reading 

Place emphasis on the words that are enlarged in colour throughout the story. Add lots of expression and enthusiasm when you are reading. Pause to add emphasis. When you show enthusiasm and interest in the story the children will enjoy and be interested in the story as well. 

Encourage the children to join making the sound of the cracking of the egg. 

Ask the children to predict why they think the birds keep the crocodile.

After Reading 

Go back through the story and look at all the words written in colour and enlarged. Make a list of these words on a whiteboard. Talk about why these words were made to stand out in the story. Talk about what are some ways to be fun, helpful, strong etc 

Families come in all shapes and sizes. Talk about who is in the children’s families. Each family is unique and different and that’s ok. The important part is to be loved and belong. Explain that you will make a special class book about all the children’s families. See link in extension ideas for printable.

For full Learning Time please download the attached PDF



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