Lesson Plan on Giraffes Can’t Dance (Reggio United Kingdom)

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Preschool / Nursery School / EYFS Lesson Plan – Lesson Plan on Giraffes Can’t Dance (Reggio United Kingdom), Reggio philosophy

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

Grade Level: Preschool / Nursery School (3-4 years old)
Curriculum: UK Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Theorist: Reggio Emilia

– To introduce children to the central themes of the book “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees.
– To promote understanding and acceptance of diversity and individuality.
– To encourage self-expression and creativity through various art forms.
– To develop language and communication skills through storytelling and group discussions.

– “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
– Large poster board or chart paper
– Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
– Construction paper
– Glue sticks
– Scissors
– Various art materials (e.g., paint, brushes, sponges, feathers, etc.)
– Music player and a selection of different music genres
– Optional: Giraffe masks or headbands


1. Introduction (10 minutes):
– Gather the children in a circle and introduce the book “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”
– Show them the cover and ask if anyone has heard of or read the book before.
– Explain that the story is about a giraffe named Gerald who learns to embrace his uniqueness and express himself through dance.

2. Storytelling and Discussion (15 minutes):
– Read the book aloud, using expressive voices and gestures to engage the children.
– Pause at key moments to ask open-ended questions, such as:
– How do you think Gerald felt when the other animals laughed at him?
– Why do you think Gerald didn’t want to dance at first?
– How did Gerald feel when he discovered his own dance style?
– Encourage the children to share their thoughts and feelings about the story.

3. Art Exploration (20 minutes):
– Display a large poster board or chart paper and write the words “Dancing is for Everyone!” at the top.
– Discuss the different animals in the book and their unique characteristics.
– Invite the children to draw or paint their favorite animal from the story on construction paper.
– Encourage them to use various art materials to add texture and color to their creations.
– Assist the children in cutting out their animals and gluing them onto the poster board.
– Display the collaborative artwork in the classroom as a reminder of the book’s message.

4. Dance and Movement (15 minutes):
– Play a variety of music genres, including classical, jazz, pop, and world music.
– Encourage the children to move freely and express themselves through dance.
– Provide scarves, ribbons, or other props for the children to incorporate into their movements.
– Observe and participate in their dance, offering positive feedback and encouragement.

5. Reflection and Conclusion (10 minutes):
– Gather the children back in a circle and ask them to share their dance experiences.
– Discuss how each child’s dance was unique and special, just like Gerald’s in the book.
– Emphasize the importance of accepting and celebrating differences in ourselves and others.
– Optional: Provide giraffe masks or headbands for the children to wear during the reflection.

– Observe the children’s engagement and participation during the storytelling, art exploration, and dance activities.
– Listen to their responses during the discussions to assess their understanding of the book’s central themes.
– Evaluate their artwork for creativity, use of materials, and representation of the animals from the story.
– Note the children’s ability to express themselves through movement and their willingness to embrace diversity.

Extension Activities:
– Create a class dance routine inspired by the book, incorporating different animal movements.
– Invite parents or other classes to a “Giraffes Can’t Dance” performance, showcasing the children’s artwork and dance skills.
– Explore other books by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees that promote diversity and self-expression.
– Collaborate with the music teacher to incorporate dance and movement into regular classroom activities.

Curriculum Links:
– Personal, Social, and Emotional Development: Promoting self-confidence, self-expression, and understanding of others.
– Communication and Language: Developing listening, speaking, and storytelling skills.
– Expressive Arts and Design: Encouraging creativity, exploration of different art forms, and movement expression.
– Understanding the World: Exploring diversity, acceptance, and cultural differences.

Theoretical Links (Reggio Emilia):
– The lesson plan incorporates the Reggio Emilia approach by valuing children’s self-expression, creativity, and exploration of different art forms.
– The collaborative artwork and group discussions promote social interaction and the exchange of ideas.
– The focus on diversity and acceptance aligns with the Reggio Emilia principle of respecting and valuing each child’s unique qualities and experiences


United Kingdom




Reggio Emilia



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