Friday, July 19, 2024
Giraffes Can't Dance

Giraffes Can’t Dance

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Giles Andreae

Gerald would love to join in with the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can’t dance . . . or can they?

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Find the rhyming words in the story. Could you make a new page for the book that includes rhyming?
  • The first page includes a number of words used to describe a giraffe. Can you think of any more?
  • Retell the story from Gerald’s point of view.
  • ‘Warthogs’ and ‘walzing’ are examples of alliteration. Can you think of other alliterative phrases that feature an animal doing something unusual, e.g. ‘koalas doing karate, hopping hedgehogs).
  • When the cricket plays his violin, Gerald starts ‘shuffling’, ‘swaying’ and ‘swishing’. Can you think of other words that might describe how he moves?
  • Could you narrate the story and perform it to an audience, using expression, accents and sound effects? Watch these examples for some ideas:

  • Can you turn the story into a play? Watch this video for some inspiration:


  • Make a shopping list of items that might be needed for the Jungle Dance. How many of each item might be needed? How much would it all cost?
  • Carry out a survey in your class to find out which animal your friends think would be the best dancers.
  • How tall are the different animals in the story (e.g. cricket, warthog, lion, giraffe). Find out, or make a sensible estimate of, their height and make a graph to show the results.


  • Write a report about giraffes. Where do they live in the wild? What do they eat? Do they have any special adaptations?


  • Use publishing software to design a poster to advertise the Jungle Dance.
  • Make a banner to display at the Jungle Dance.
  • Make an animation of an animal dancing.

Design Technology

  • Use split pins to make animal pictures with moving body parts.
  • Can you make page for a pop-up book in which an animal might move, e.g. when you open the page, a giraffe’s neck bends? Look at the pop-up version of the book for examples.


  • Use photos of real giraffes as a starting point for drawing your own illustrations (see Resources below).
  • Make some decorations that the animals could put on display at the Jungle Dance.
  • Draw your own pictures of animals doing different types of dances.
  • Use the dancing giraffe template to make your own giraffe with moving limbs. Can you make the giraffe dance??(see Resources below)
  • Giraffe looks at the moon and says how beautiful he thinks it is. Can you draw your own beautiful night scenes?


  • Compose a song that might be played at the Jungle Dance.
  • Look at the instruments shown in the illustrations. What are they? How are they played? How do they make a sound?


  • The author wrote ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ after a trip to Kenya. Can you find Kenya on a map / globe? How is it similar / different to where you live?

Physical education

  • Plan a dance that Gerald might be able to do. Could you rehearse and perform it to an audience?
  • Find out about the history of dancing. Can you learn some dances that people have performed in years gone by?


  • The animals think that Gerald can’t dance. Sometimes people say ‘there is no such word as can’t’. What does this mean?
  • How might Gerald feel when the other animals are laughing and waiting for him to dance? How should they behave instead?
  • Discuss what the difference is between laughing at someone and laughing with someone.


Dancing Giraffe Template

Dancing Giraffe Template

Download File

Giraffe Photos

Giraffe Photos

Download File

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