Giraffes Can’t Dance Learning Time

Resource type: 
Learning Time


Before Reading

Encourage children to get into ‘listening positions’, sitting cross-legged with hands in laps ready to listen.
When reading a picture book to a group of children always start with the front cover, introducing its title, author and illustrator. Get the children to describe what they can see on the cover and if they can predict what the story might be about! The cover of a book is always exciting, todays story is a special edition, with a gold cover and special sticker as well! You might like to share the significance of this and tell your listeners that children have been enjoying this special story for 20 years!
Today’s story is called Giraffe’s Can’t Dance ! Who thinks they can? I have never seen one dance so I’m not sure – lets open the book and find out if giraffes can’t dance or if they can!

During Reading

From the very first page of Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, we are transported to an exotic location – Africa! Look at the colourful first spread and identify some of the features of the land. Gerald the giraffe is also introduced to us – I wonder what the word bandy means? The next double spread shows us that Gerald’s
legs are not very strong.
Next we have a wonderful double spread of the Annual Jungle Dance! Spend some time looking closely at this magical illustration! What animals can your families spot?
This sadness soon turns to hope when Gerald meets a wise and upbeat friend! The illustrations vibrantly capture Gerald “finding his groove”, and then a delightful double spread of Gerald somersaulting through the air heralds his jubilation! This illustration is so uplifting and happy

After Reading

There is so much to explore and share in this story! Some starting points for discussion might be:
• What was your favourite part of the story
• How did Gerald’s friend help him?
• How did the other animal’s in the jungle treat Gerald? Was that kind?
• What do you think this story teaches us?
• Gerald has growth mindset – being open to find his own way and believe in his own unique abilities.

Explore the notion of growth mindset in the context of Giraffes Can’t Dance.
Next you might like to have your own library dance off! The Putumayo music compilations have a great collection of African music. Spotify might be handy too for sourcing some African beats!
Use the music with a movement game! You could tip-toe like a tiger, hop like a hippo, or jiggle like giraffe!
What other animals can you be?


For full Learning Time please download the attached PDF

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