We are always looking to find out how Night Zookeeper is used in classrooms and how it is impacting on children’s learning. One of our incredible Night Zookeeper teachers has written about her experience with using the Night Zookeeper book: ‘The Giraffes of Whispering Wood’ in their class and the impact that it has. You can read Sheri’s testimonial below and take a look at her lesson collection here.
“As an elementary school teacher, I fell in love with the magical world of the Night Zoo after watching my students grow as writers using the platform. When the book ‘Night Zookeeper: The Giraffes of Whispering Wood’ came out; I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Written by Joshua Davidson, creator of the Night Zookeeper world, and filled with the themes of creativity and resilience when faced with challenges, I was thrilled to share this book with my class.
I read the book with them in May and we discussed it as we read through it together. I enjoyed the interaction with the students, but decided this summer to create questions and activities to go along with each chapter of the book. I wanted something to make sure the students were deepening their understanding and enjoyment of this wonderful book.
I spent the summer creating activities for each chapter of the book on ‘Lesson Hive’ for my students to complete. Each chapter has three lessons dedicated to it with different activities: spelling and grammar, comprehension and creative tasks.
Here’s how I used the book this year:
I have a spot on a shelf in my room that I use to showcase the next book we will be reading. On this occasion, the book was the Night Zookeeper and the Giraffes of Whispering Wood. The students know this will be what we read next, and it gets them excited to look at the front cover and make predictions. I also placed the stuffed animals that I use for desk rewards with the book to get the kids talking. These animals resemble the Night Zoo animals so the buzz in the room led to wonderful discussions right away.
I started the book knowing I would be reading just one chapter every few days. This would give students time to complete the lessons I had created. I also had the book accessible to students so they could go back into the text to find the answers they needed if they had forgotten any information.
Before reading the latest chapter, I would go in and make the lessons live on the student accounts so they could quickly get to work after I read the chapter. This worked really well as the students couldn’t wait to show what they knew about the book and they loved the creativity and become the author type activities.
I also could download a spreadsheet showing how the students got on answering the questions I had created. (Click to see how you can do this) This was an easy way of seeing where misconceptions were happening and being able to talk with students that had similar answers and clear up any issues before we moved on.
We now have finished the book and I feel my students have gained a greater understand of ‘reading to understand’ while still having the pleasure of ‘reading to enjoy’. “
Look for the lessons in the lesson hive and use them with your students. They are under a collection called The Giraffes of Whispering Wood.
We would love to share other ways that Night Zookeeper is being used in class, if you would like to share what you have been up to, please get in touch. [email protected]