I continued this week with my Zoo theme while we read the adapted book “Guess the Zoo Animal!” and made tigers out of paper plates.  The focus for this week was animal features and this was a perfect combo.

“Guess the Zoo Animal!” focuses on identifying the correct zoo animal given a feature of the animal.  For example; on the first page the question is “Who has stripes?”  The student has to determine which animal from the given field of 3 animals has stripes.  The student would select the zebra and place it in the box with the question mark.  The zebra has stripes.     

I point to each box along the top of the page as I read the question “Who has…?”  Then I point to the animals along the bottom.  My verbal students often help me name the some of the animals on the page as we point to them.  We read, “Who has spots? …A zebra, lion, or cheetah”.  My student correctly selected the cheetah picture and place it in the box.

Some of these feature concepts are new vocabulary terms for my students.  After your student selects the correct animal to match the given feature, have him/her point to the feature on that animal.  For your verbal students work on them expanding those utterances and using those descriptive concepts when they describe the animal.  “A shark has fins”.    

If your student uses an AAC device, he/she can find the correct animal on their device.  “Who has a trunk?”  The student can use their device to say “elephant”.  They also might be able to find some of the feature concepts on their device too. 

After we finished reading the book we made super cute tigers out of paper plates.  The tigers had stripes so we could continue to focus on those feature concepts.  This is a super simple craft.  Crafts are a great time to work on requesting either verbally or with an AAC system.

To get the craft ready I had cut stripes of orange paper.  First, I had my students request the paper by saying “orange” or “paper”.  The students had to tear the paper into small pieces.  You can also have your students cut the paper if they can use scissor.  I had the students request 4-6 strips of paper.

Some of my students used visuals to request.  I have some students who are working on exchanging a single picture and other students who can request using an “I want” phrase.  This is a great time to get lots of exchanges!

Next, my students had to request glue.  I usually have my students put some glue on the plate and add a few pieces of the orange paper.  Then I make them request glue again.  They might have to request the glue 6 or more times during the session.  The more requesting the better!

Now it’s time to add those stripes.  We talked about stripes while we read the book and now we are talking about them again with our craft.  You can have your students count out a set number of stripes to add to their tiger.

Finally we added eyes, mouth, nose, and ears.  I try to keep the crafts simple so the focus is on building language.  The focus for my students is to attend to an activity, follow simple directions, and request.  Hope this is a fun activity for some of your students too. 

The series of zoo adapted books includes; “Zookeeper, Zookeeper What Do You See?”, “Where are the Zoo Animals?”, and “Guess the Zoo Animal!”.  You can find this series on TPT with the link – Zoo Animal Adapted Book Series

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