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

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Kindergarten / Yochien / Hoiku Lesson Plan – Lesson Plan on Giraffes Can’t Dance (Montessori Japan), Montessori philosophy

Title: Exploring Central Themes in “Giraffes Can’t Dance” – A Montessori-inspired Kindergarten Lesson Plan

Grade Level: Kindergarten / Yochien / Hoiku (5-6 years old)
Subject: Language Arts / English
Duration: 2-3 lessons (approximately 45 minutes each)

Curriculum Standards (Japan MEXT):
1. Communication: Listening and Speaking
2. Reading: Understanding Texts
3. Appreciation of Literature: Enjoying and Understanding Stories

Theorist: Maria Montessori – Montessori’s approach emphasizes hands-on learning, self-directed activities, and the importance of the child’s natural curiosity and independence.

Lesson Objectives:
1. Students will develop listening and speaking skills by actively participating in discussions related to the book.
2. Students will enhance their reading comprehension skills by engaging in various activities that promote understanding of the central themes.
3. Students will appreciate literature by exploring the story’s message and relating it to their own lives.

1. “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
2. Large chart paper and markers
3. Art supplies (colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc.)
4. Construction paper
5. Scissors
6. Glue sticks
7. Story-related props (optional)


Lesson 1: Introduction and Pre-Reading Activities

1. Begin the lesson by introducing the book “Giraffes Can’t Dance” to the students. Show them the cover and ask them to predict what the story might be about. Encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas.

2. Read the book aloud to the students, using expressive voices and gestures to engage their attention. Pause occasionally to ask questions and encourage discussion.

3. After reading, facilitate a class discussion about the story. Use open-ended questions to encourage critical thinking and comprehension. For example:
– What was the main problem in the story?
– How did the giraffe feel at the beginning? How did he feel at the end?
– What do you think the author wants us to learn from this story?

4. Create a large chart paper titled “Central Themes in ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’.” Ask students to brainstorm and share the central themes they noticed in the story. Write their responses on the chart paper.

Lesson 2: Exploring Central Themes

1. Review the central themes identified in the previous lesson. Discuss each theme in detail, ensuring students understand their meanings. For example:
– Acceptance and embracing differences
– Overcoming self-doubt and finding confidence
– The power of perseverance and practice

2. Divide the class into small groups and assign each group one central theme. Provide each group with art supplies and construction paper.

3. In their groups, students will create a visual representation of their assigned theme using drawings, cut-outs, or collages. Encourage creativity and imagination.

4. Once the groups have completed their visual representations, have them present their work to the class. Each group should explain their theme and how it relates to the story.

Lesson 3: Applying the Central Themes

1. Begin the lesson by revisiting the central themes discussed in the previous lessons. Ask students to reflect on their own lives and experiences, and how they can relate to the themes in “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”

2. Provide each student with a blank piece of paper and art supplies. Instruct them to create their own illustration or drawing that represents one of the central themes from the story.

3. After completing their artwork, have students share their drawings with a partner or in small groups. Encourage them to explain their choice of theme and how it relates to their own lives.

4. As a closing activity, gather the students in a circle and have a class discussion about the importance of accepting differences, overcoming self-doubt, and the power of perseverance. Encourage students to share their thoughts and experiences.

1. Informal assessment: Observe students’ participation and engagement during discussions and activities.
2. Formative assessment: Review students’ visual representations and their ability to explain their chosen theme.
3. Summative assessment: Evaluate students’ understanding of the central themes through their individual artwork and their ability to relate them to their own lives.

Extension Activities:
1. Create a classroom display showcasing the students’ artwork and the central themes explored.
2. Encourage students to write their own short stories or poems inspired by the central themes in “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”
3. Organize a mini-drama or role-play activity where students act out scenes from the book, emphasizing the central themes.

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




MEXT (Japan)


Maria Montessori



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