In school we have a book of the week or fortnight and will complete a selection of associated activities to teach and develop reading skills, vocabulary, sentence structure etc.
This week we are looking at the book Dear Zoo. Please copy the link above into your browser to see and hear this book.
This is a simple book with a repetitive text, making it easier for your child to remember it and practice retelling the story. Introduce the book by telling your child the title and author. Read the story a couple of time initially and discuss the text with your child. Do they understand all vocabulary? Who is ‘I’ that is writing to the zoo? Why did they write? Why did they send each of the animals? Why did they have to think very hard? Why was the dog perfect? Ask as many questions that you can think of.
Next draw your child’s attention to the punctuation; the use of exclamation marks, ellipses. I explain these to the children as a dum,dum,dum moment! To build suspense, excitement, dread etc. You must also explain that these tell the reader to pause before reading on. Discuss adding expression to your voice as you read.
Your child should then practise reading their story over and over. They can make prompts, puppets to help them retell it. The more they practice, the more familiar they will become with the vocabulary, speaking in complex sentences and telling a story in a sequential order. Add actions as they retell it, these help your child to remember the sequence and understand the vocabulary.
Your child can finish the week by writing their own version of Dear Zoo, keeping the same format with different animals. Can they make it a pop-up book with flaps hiding each animal?
Complete a couple of activities each day.