Lesson Plan on Giraffes Can’t Dance (Montessori Canada)

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Kindergarten / Preschool / SK / Pre-Elementary / ECEC Lesson Plan – Lesson Plan on Giraffes Can’t Dance (Montessori Canada), Montessori philosophy

Title: Exploring Diversity and Self-Expression through “Giraffes Can’t Dance”

Grade Level: Kindergarten / Preschool / SK / Pre-Elementary / ECEC
Subject: Language Arts, Social Studies, and Art
Duration: 3-4 lessons (approximately 45 minutes each)

Curriculum Connections:
– Language Arts: Oral communication, reading comprehension, and vocabulary development.
– Social Studies: Understanding diversity, cultural awareness, and self-expression.
– Art: Exploring different art forms and expressing emotions through art.

Theorist: Maria Montessori
– Incorporate Montessori’s principles of hands-on learning, self-directed activities, and respect for individual differences.
– Encourage children to explore and express their unique talents and abilities.
– Provide a prepared environment that fosters independence, creativity, and self-expression.

Lesson Plan:

Lesson 1: Introduction to “Giraffes Can’t Dance”
Objective: Introduce the central themes of the book and engage students in a discussion about diversity and self-expression.

1. Warm-up Activity (10 minutes):
– Gather students in a circle and ask them to share something unique about themselves.
– Discuss the importance of embracing diversity and respecting individual differences.

2. Read-Aloud (15 minutes):
– Read “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae, emphasizing the illustrations and emotions portrayed.
– Pause at key moments to encourage students to predict and discuss the story.

3. Group Discussion (10 minutes):
– Facilitate a discussion about the central themes of the book, such as self-acceptance, embracing differences, and finding one’s own rhythm.
– Use open-ended questions to encourage critical thinking and active participation.

4. Montessori Activity: Emotions Collage (10 minutes):
– Provide a variety of magazines, scissors, glue sticks, and large sheets of paper.
– Instruct students to cut out pictures of people expressing different emotions and create a collage that represents their own emotions.
– Encourage students to share their collages and discuss the emotions depicted.

Lesson 2: Exploring Dance and Movement
Objective: Explore different dance styles and encourage self-expression through movement.

1. Warm-up Activity: Freeze Dance (10 minutes):
– Play upbeat music and instruct students to dance freely.
– Pause the music intermittently and shout “freeze,” prompting students to freeze in their current position.
– Discuss how everyone’s movements were unique and different.

2. Dance Exploration (15 minutes):
– Show videos or pictures of various dance styles (e.g., ballet, hip-hop, traditional cultural dances).
– Discuss the different movements, costumes, and emotions associated with each style.
– Encourage students to imitate and explore different dance movements.

3. Montessori Activity: Dance Reflection (10 minutes):
– Provide mirrors and encourage students to observe their own movements while dancing.
– Ask students to reflect on how their movements make them feel and discuss their observations with a partner.

4. Creative Movement (10 minutes):
– Play soft, instrumental music and instruct students to move freely, expressing their emotions through dance.
– Encourage students to experiment with different movements and rhythms.

Lesson 3: Artistic Expression and Performance
Objective: Encourage students to express their emotions and creativity through art and performance.

1. Warm-up Activity: Emotion Charades (10 minutes):
– Write different emotions on small pieces of paper and place them in a jar.
– Ask students to take turns picking a paper and acting out the emotion without speaking.
– Encourage classmates to guess the emotion being portrayed.

2. Art Activity: Emotion Masks (15 minutes):
– Provide blank masks, markers, crayons, and craft materials.
– Instruct students to decorate their masks to represent a specific emotion.
– Encourage students to explain their choices and discuss how the masks make them feel.

3. Montessori Activity: Puppet Show (15 minutes):
– Divide students into small groups and provide them with puppets or stuffed animals.
– Instruct each group to create a short puppet show based on the central themes of “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”
– Encourage students to incorporate different emotions and movements into their performances.

4. Performance and Reflection (10 minutes):
– Allow each group to perform their puppet shows for the class.
– After each performance, facilitate a brief discussion about the emotions portrayed and the messages conveyed.

Extension Activity:
– Encourage students to create their own dance routines or write their own stories about embracing diversity and self-expression.
– Provide opportunities for students to share their creations with their peers or during a school assembly.

– Observe students’ active participation and engagement during discussions, activities, and performances.
– Assess students’ ability to express emotions through art and movement.
– Provide feedback and encouragement to support students’ individual growth and development.

Note: Adapt the lesson plan as needed to suit the specific needs and abilities of your students




Complete Canadian Curriculum (Canada)


Maria Montessori



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