Preschool and Kindergarten Lessons and Activities
Kindergarten-Preschool Zoo

Preschool-Kindergarten Printables

Printable Reader Reader 1 - Letter Gg Focus

The popular book "Good Night Gorilla" by Peggy Rathmann can be used as the base to introduce this theme.  The ideas below are all teaching and learning opportunities to extend this book further.

Using this predictable and repetitive reader "Zoo Escape" that relates to the book is an excellent resource to use for teaching beginning reading skills. The larger pictures could be used to make a big book, or the pictures from the reader are placed in a pocket chart with the words written beside them. The book could be placed on an overhead or smartboard for all the children in a classroom to view as you model the reading process.  The reader introduces the letters "g" for gorilla and "z"  for zebra within its story context.

Color Sample Page of the Reader

            New Emergent Reader 2 -  Letter Ll Focus
This emergent reader Lion Laughs introduces the letter "Ll" within its story context.  Lion laughs each time he/she hears an "Ll" word.  The interactive component requires the students to cut and paste the "Ll" word that corresponds to the text.  There is also a version available that does not include the interactive components.

Sample of Emergent Reader Lion Laughs - Color Version

Sample of Emergent Reader Lion Laughs - Black and White Version

            New Emergent Reader 3 - Letter Kk Focus
This emergent reader Kangaroo Kicks introduces the letter "Kk" within its story context.  Kangaroo kicks each time he/she says a "Kk" word.  The interactive component requires the students to cut and paste the "Kk" word that corresponds to the text.  There is also a version available that does not include the interactive components.

Sample of Emergent Reader Kangaro Kicks - Color Version

Sample of Emergent Reader Kangaro Kicks - Black and White Version

New Printable Interactive Reader 4  - Letter Zz Focus
In this reader Zany Zebra is missing stripes.  The students must draw the correct amount of stripes indicated in the text.

Zany Zebra Printable Sample Reader Color Version

Zany Zebra Sample Interactive Black and White Reader - Students Draw Stripes

ooks Related to Animated Alphabet Song Video

Printable Reader 5

The emergent reader "Zoo Animal Babies" would be used as a follow-up to reading the book "Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?  The reader introduces the letters "k" for kangaroo and "l" for lion.

Sample Page from the Emergent Reader

Lion CraftBonus Emergent Readers - Total of Seven Emergent Readers

"Zoo Escape" and "Zoo Animal Babies" are the focus emergent readers used in the lesson plans as they are used in the alphabet program to introduce new letters and sight words, however, you can also use the readers below.

"Dear Zoo" by Rod Campbell is another favorite to use for the Zoo Theme.  This reader is a retelling of this literature selection.

Dear Zoo Reader Sample Page


 More Bonus Emergent Readers

 interactive reader where the children must find matching zoo shapes.  It can be used in conjunction with the craft activities.

Zoo Animal Shapes Reader Sample Page

In the reader  Zoo Animal Match the zoo animal is either hiding or the facial features are only showing.  The children are to find the match, cut and paste this match on the correct page.  The book Special Zoo Animals is an informational book about zoo animals and their special features and what they are used for.

Zoo Animal Match Reader Sample Page

Special Zoo Animals

Preschool and Kindergarten Games for Literacy

Initial Sound Identification and Printing
There are two versions of this game.  The first version is a review or introduction to all the letters within this theme.  The second version requires the students to know all the letters of the alphabet.  Partner players take a turn rolling a die and follow the path leading to the zoo.  They must identify the initial sound heard in the picture they landed on and print the corresponding letter on the dotted printing sheet.

Rhyming Game
Students spin a top and must identify the picture the top landed on.  After, they must find the rhyming matching picture on the game board chart provided and mark this picture off (with a bingo chip).  The game is over once all the rhyming picture matches have been found.  

CVC Game
In this theme there are 40 CVC picture cards that can be used to create your own games.  I have my students draw a word card and determine which picture matches the one on their game board.  More advanced students are required to print the CVC words.

Sight Word Game
The students take a turn rolling the die and moving that many on their sight word game board.  They must say the name of the word and print it.

Craft Writing Activities

The writing templates found in the theme unit make a wonderful bulletin board display.  This integrates a craft project with a writing activity.

Lion and Hippopotamus Writing Templates

Paint or color and assemble the lion or hippopotamus writing templates as shown in the photographs.  Younger children would dictate what they want written.  What is written will depend on the student's ability.  The children could print a sentence or word in a prepared template telling about what they have learned.  They could also write about an exciting experience they had on the field trip to the zoo.

Kindergarten Math Center Activities

The focus math outcomes are outlined below.  The center activities outlined in the condensed version of the theme will help you meet these outcomes.

-I can tell if a group has greater than, less than or an equal amount.  K.CC.B.6
-I can compare two printed numerals between 1-10.  K.CC.B.7
-I can write numbers 0-20 and show the correct amount of objects for these numbers   K.CC.A.3
-I can count 20 things.  K.CC.B.5
-I can add and subtract in different ways.  K.OA.A. 1
-I can solve addition and subraction problems up to 10.  K.OA.A.2
-I can show sums in different ways.  K.OA.A.1
-I can add and subtract up to 10 (using drawings, fingers or manipulatives).  K.OA.A.4
-I can name shapes no matter which way they are turned.  K.G.A.2
-I know some shapes are 2-D and 3-D.  K.G.A.3

Craft Suggestions

 Zoo Craft Shapes

Children will enjoy completing the crafts shown, with the focus on the shapes used to complete these zoo animals.  These animals are all mentioned in the book "Good Night Gorilla". 

Elephant with a Rectangle Trunk

Children can paint, cut and assemble the elephant template.  The rectangle trunk would be cut and glued on.  Note: In the photograph the trunk was painted on both sides and then rolled up to give it more of a trunk-like appearance.

Circle-Faced Lion and Letter "l" Picture Mnemonic Activity

The children would paint the lion templates.  The templates would be cut, assembled and glued accordingly. Strips of brown construction paper would be glued to the mane to represent the letter "l".  Brown paper shred could also be added.

New Giraffe With the Egg Carton Cup Nose Craft
The giraffe template was used to trace onto yellow construction paper, cut and then an egg carton cup nose was pasted on.  After, brown spots were cut from brown construction paper and pasted on.

New  Cute Cartoon Zoo Animal Stick Puppets or Mask

The templates would be painted or colored accordingly.  The templates with the zoo animal faces within a circle would be used for a simple cutting experience if you are working with younger children.  The templates with just the zoo animal face outline would be used for a more challenging cutting experience.  The templates would also be cut and glued to a paper plate.  This craft activity could also be integrated into drama by having the students act out being the animals they created.


Hippopotamus CraftDot to Dot Number Lion

Dot to Dot Number Lion

Dot to Dot ElephantMath Books

More Free Dot to Dot and Coloring Pages Related to Zoo Theme

More dot to dot worksheets and coloring sheets can be found in the links below:

More Zoo Related Activities

Preschool-Kindergarten Math Program

If you are a member, you can follow the Math Focus program that has been specifically developed for meeting the curriculum instead of the above math activities.

Preschool-Kindergarten Songs

The songs Kicking Kelly Kangaroo, Leo the Lion, Groovy Gorilla and At the Zoo on the Alpha Tunes CD would be integrated into the theme concepts.  

Activities for the Smart Board

We support technology integration.  We have created a series of theme related activities which incoporate the use of Notebook software and the Smart Board.  If you wish to preview the activities related to the Zoo theme you can do so by clicking on the link below:
Smart Board Related Activities

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