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Midwest's Monthly Book and Cook:  "Giraffes Can't Dance"

It's Story Time!

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Sir Richard Steele


Giraffes Can’t Dance
Author: Giles Andreae and Illustrator: Guy Parker-Rees

Gerald the giraffe really wants to dance like the other animals, but his legs are too skinny and just buckle when he tries.  With encouraging words he learns to dance to his own music.

Purchase on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.


Before the Lesson

Objective: Students will use movement and words to encourage each other to try their best.

Review key vocabulary with students by acting the words out:
munching, buckled, prance, waltz, tango, elegant, clumsy, sneered, clearing, swaying, hooves, shuffling, swishing, boogies, entranced, froze up, rooted to the spot


Read and Discuss
Read Giraffes Can’t Dance and discuss:

  1. Ask: What happened when Gerald tried to dance? Why did he want to dance? How did he feel when he first arrived at the dance? When have you felt like Gerald – wanting to do something that EVERYONE else could do and you weren’t very good at it?
  2. Reread the story, this time having students act out the movements using the key vocabulary words as your guide.
  3. Put on some music and encourage your students to listen to the sounds and move with the music. Use some of the vocabulary words and ask students to sway, shuffle, skip, prance, etc. Be sure to use kinds words to encourage students and recognizing and accepting each one’s unique moves.
  4. Ask students how they felt as they were moving and receiving words of encouragement and praise. Remind them that giving and receiving encouragement makes themselves and others feel good.


Draw a picture of YOU and Gerald happily dancing!  Write a sentence with encouraging words for Gerald.



Download the Recipe Ideas here

Download the Story Time PDF here

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