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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Writing Workbooks  >  Elementary School
Imaginary Zoos

Anchorage Oceanview Elementary First Graders

Elementary school teachers know that even if you can not coax reluctant children to write, you can always get them to draw, paint or color. Having children express their ideas and feelings with paints and crayons first is a natural way to encourage openness to written language.

In celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday last year, Beverly Courtnage and her first grade class at Oceanview Elementary read If I Ran the Zoo. She asked the children to design their own zoos with imaginary animals in them. Then the children wrote about what they had drawn. They named their animals and described them, playing with the sounds of made up words. They couldn't be wrong, and they could be as silly as they wanted. Several of the first graders thought this was one of the best projects they had done all year.

The Campbell Zoo Drawing

Campbell Zoo

It has an entrance and fences and all kinds of animals. Brown, red , blue, big wings, legs and pretty fur. My family comes to my zoo. Here are some of the animals that are there—the zomozr can fly with humongous wings. So be careful that he doesn't knock you down. A Ringr, and a Boberloony is very very strange. He can play games!

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