Substitute Teacher Kit
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A Visit to the Zoo (Grades 1-2)
When you substitute in a first- or second-grade classroom, you can invite your class to explore zoo animals. Select a few of these activities to supplement your classroom lessons, or use the entire kit to create a fun-filled class "trip" to the zoo.Preparation Materials
Classroom Management Tips
Books to Read:
Barney Goes to the Zoo by Linda Cress Dowdy
Curious George Visits the Zoo by Margaret Rey
Going to the Zoo by Tom Paxton
If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss
1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle
Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
What Am I? – Icebreaker
Say, "I went to the zoo and I heard this sound _____." (For example, growl like a lion or squawk like a parrot.) Then say, "I turned around and saw a _____." Ask students to guess what animal you saw. Continue playing, making new animal sounds. After a few rounds, ask student volunteers to lead the game.
If I Were an Animal – Icebreaker
|•||Ask, "If you could be any animal at the zoo, which animal would you like to be?"|
|•||Give students a few minutes to think about their responses. Then encourage them to share their choices with the class.|
|•||Students should be sure to tell why they chose their animal. If necessary, you can model a response. For example, "I'd like to be a monkey because I'd love to climb trees and swing from branch to branch. And I'd like to make silly faces at people watching me!"|
Invite Students to Become Zoo Animals – Icebreaker
|•||Ask each student to draw a zoo animal on an index card. Help them label the cards with their animals' names.|
|•||Punch two holes in the top of each card and run yarn through the holes. Have students tie the ends of the yarn and wear their cards around their necks.|
|•||Use these zoo animal names to keep students' attention throughout the day. For example, say: |
"Zebras and dolphins may line up first."
"All animals that can fly will be in this group."
"Lions and tigers may now find reading partners."
Classroom "Zoo Corner"
Ask the librarian to suggest books, videos, and other materials that relate to zoo animals. Display these resources in one corner of the classroom.
|•||Invite students to read or look at books alone, in pairs, or in small groups.|
|•||Have students use books as a springboard for oral reports, stories, creative dramas, or art projects.|
|•||Select books to read and discuss with the class as a whole.|
Use Zoo Tickets to Reinforce Appropriate Behavior
|•||At the beginning of the day, give each child an empty envelope with "Zoo Tickets!" written on it.|
|•||Prepare small tickets to distribute when students exhibit good behavior.|
|•||Students can store the tickets in their envelopes and exchange them for a "trip to the zoo" at the end of the day. The "trip" could be a movie, filmstrip, or game about animals.|
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
The recent rash of tornadoes in Oklahoma, which killed at least two dozen people, may have your students wondering why such natural disasters occur, how they may be affected by them, and what they can do to help. Use these resources to teach the geography of Oklahoma and the Southwestern United States, to explain tornadoes, and to discuss the resulting crises with your class.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Backyard Games Week (5/23-29) and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.