Home Page

Westonzoyland Primary School ‘Achieving, Learning and Growing Together’


This week we will be focusing on the story 'Giraffes Can't Dance' chosen by our very own Georgia! We are basing our learning on a safari topic theme and will learn more about the animals you might see when visiting Africa. I hope you will have great fun with this and can share what you have learnt about the continent and the animals that live in some of the beautiful countries within Africa smiley

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Find the rhyming words in the story. Could you make a new page for the book that includes all the rhyming couplets?
  • The first page includes a number of words used to describe a giraffe. Can you think of any more?
  • Retell the story from Gerald's point of view.
  • 'Warthogs waltzing' are examples of alliteration. Can you think of other alliterative phrases that feature an animal doing something unusual, e.g. 'koalas doing karate, hopping hedgehogs).
  • When the cricket plays his violin, Gerald starts 'shuffling', 'swaying' and 'swishing'. Can you think of other words that might describe how he moves?
  • Could you narrate the story and perform it to an audience, using expression, accents and sound effects. Watch these examples for some ideas:



  • Make a shopping list of items that might be needed for the Jungle Dance. How many of each item might be needed? How much would it all cost?
  • Carry out a survey in your class to find out which animal your friends think would be the best dancers.
  • How tall are the different animals in the story (e.g. cricket, warthog, lion, giraffe). Find out, or make a sensible estimate of, their height and make a graph to show the results.



  • Write a report about giraffes. Where do they live in the wild? What do they eat? Do they have any special adaptations?



  • Use publishing software to design a poster to advertise the Jungle Dance.
  • Make a banner to display at the Jungle Dance.
  • Make an animation of an animal dancing.


Design Technology

  • Use split pins to make animal pictures with moving body parts.
  • Can you make page for a pop-up book in which an animal might move, e.g. when you open the page, a giraffe's neck bends? Look at the pop-up version of the book for examples.



  • Use photos of real giraffes as a starting point for drawing your own illustrations.
  • Make some decorations that the animals could put on display at the Jungle Dance.
  • Draw your own pictures of animals doing different types of dances.
  • Giraffe looks at the moon and says how beautiful he thinks it is. Can you draw your own beautiful night scenes?


  • Compose a song that might be played at the Jungle Dance.
  • Look at the instruments shown in the illustrations. What are they? How are they played? How do they make a sound?



  • The author wrote 'Giraffes Can't Dance' after a trip to Kenya. Can you find Kenya on a map / globe? How is it similar / different to where you live?


Physical education

  • Plan a dance that Gerald might be able to do. Could you rehearse and perform it to an audience?
  • Find out about the history of dancing. Can you learn some dances that people have performed in years gone by?



  • The animals think that Gerald can't dance. Sometimes people say 'there is no such word as can't'. What does this mean?
  • How might Gerald feel when the other animals are laughing and waiting for him to dance? How should they behave instead?
  • Discuss what the difference is between laughing at someone and laughing with someone.