I’ve done a lot of different animal themed books and activities with my students but I realized I haven’t done much with Zoo Animals which led me to my new theme for therapy.  I created a series of adapted book which include “Zookeeper, Zookeeper What Do You See?”, “Where are the Zoo Animals?”, and “Guess the Zoo Animal!”.  I’m going to pair each book with different games or other zoo related activities I created over the next few weeks. 

This week I used the book “Zookeeper, Zookeeper What Do You See?” and paired it with a bingo game called Match It! Listen & Play Zoo Bingo by The Learning Journey.  It was a great combo for many of my therapy groups this week. 

“Zookeeper, Zookeeper What Do You See?” targets both number and zoo animal concepts.  To set up the book I placed a hard piece of Velco in the 2 squares along the bottom of each page which have no pictures.  For the first page, I placed a piece of hard Velcro in the squares which read “one” and “hippopotamus”.   I added soft Velcro to the back of the numbers and zoo pictures and stored them on the grid page.  Then I attached the grid page to the right side of the last page.  Attaching the grid page to the right side of that last page makes it easy to flip out the grid page with all the pictures so the students can select the correct number and zoo picture to add to each page as we read the book.   

While reading the book, I touched each word square as I read the words and sometimes the students touched each box with me.  Some of my verbal students will help me read (say) the words as I read them.  Especially when we get to the word “see” we point to our eyes and my verbal student usually can say “see” with me.

After we finish reading the first sentence along the top such as “giraffes, giraffes what do you see?” we count the tigers on the page.  Again I make sure we touch each tiger as we count them to help work on that one-to-one correspondence.  The student finds the number 3 and places it in the first blank box.  Then I ask “what animal is it?”  I have my student find the tiger picture and place it in the other blank box.  Finally we read the sentence together along the bottom of the page.  “I see three tigers looking at me.”

You can always change the level of prompting depending on your students’ skill level.  For example, with some of my students I gave them a choice of 2 numbers to pick from if scanning all the numbers was too difficult or they are still working on number identification.  I did the same with the zoo animals and reduced the visual field to 2 animals to select from to match the animal in the book.  You may need to cover up the animals when the student is looking for the correct number or cover up the number pieces when the student is looking for the correct animal to reduce the visual field.  

After we finished reading the book we played the zoo bingo game.  It was a perfect activity to pair with the book.  I like this game because the animal pictures are simple and clear plus there is an animal picture card to pair on each student’s board.  Sometimes for my younger students or lower functioning students putting a chip on the board is too difficult for them and they want to actually be able to match the animal picture card to their board.  It also works out well that there are only 9 animals because the visual field is not too overwhelming for most of my students and the game goes quickly.  For me I have the students fill all the animals on the board and not try and get only 3 in a row.  I like to get more practice and make sure they find all the animals. 

I changed up the game depending on my students’ skill level.  You can have your students press the game button and it makes an animal sound 3 times but for me I just used this bingo game as more of a matching game because I think the zoo animal noises were a little too difficult for most of my students.  I focused on having my students take turns and work on telling me “my turn” or touching the “my turn” icon to indicate their turn in the game.  When it was that student’s turn, I held up one of the animals and if my student could I had my student name the animal.  After they named the animal they could match the animal picture to the correct animal on their board. 

If you want to do it as a receptive language task you can hold up two animals and tell them which animal to take.  For example, hold up the snake and bear and say “take bear”.  After your student selects the bear picture they get to place it on their board. 

I will share about my other zoo themed adapted books in the upcoming weeks.  If you are interested in this series of adapted books you can find them on TPT with the link – Zoo Animal Adapted Book Series

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