We’re Going on a Safari!

laffytaffyToday’s lesson with our ten-year-old boy went really well. One of my co-teachers designed it around the theme of animals. When our student first got to the session, he gave us each a Laffy Taffy—this helped to be an intro activity just because we read each of the jokes together and had a short break before getting started.

Our student forgot his book/homework from last session which was disappointing, but we had a backup plan [it’s always important to have those!] We started right away with our animal/zoo/safari discussion, asking our student if he’d ever been to the zoo or on a safari, any memories, or favorite animals. We found out that he had actually been on a Safari before in Disneyland—fun! I also happened to go to the Como Zoo in Minneapolis yesterday, so I showed him some pictures I took!


From there, we started with our Safari activity. We had pictures of 8 animals [colored cartoon pictures] that we hung all around the library. Our student’s job was to ‘hunt’ for the animals, and when he found each one, he would read an informative passage about that animal that we had previously printed out. This was fun because it kept everyone moving and our student was able to either recall or learn new facts about each of the eight animals. Each time he found an animal and read a passage, he checked it off on his sheet and when he was finished, his reward was animal crackers!

After the Safari activity, we de-briefed with some reading about puffins and penguins—two animals that weren’t on our Safari to keep him interested. The book we had chosen was extremely easy, so I quickly decided to switch the activity and have our student read/teach to us. This was an awesome change because it gave our student responsibility in teaching; suddenly he was responsible and the one explaining what preen meant or what it meant to have a mate. I think it was challenging for him, too, having to explain and act like a teacher while us teachers played the role of kindergarteners.


Our final activity was reading from our chapter book, The Million Dollar Shot. We had our student read a chapter silently then summarize it for us. Then we read a chapter aloud to him. He seemed engaged when reading silently, but struggled a little with attention during our reading aloud. We hope to work on that for next week!

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