Teach Animals by Acting Them Out

What I love about “What did you see” is how the story has the Same Language Subtitles (SLS) first then in the next scene you see the animal. The story gives the students time to figure out the answer and imagine the meaning of the word before given to them.

zoo 1

Today’s lesson was with two six-year-old boys trying to learn English, their second language. We picked “What Did You See,” a story from our Little Bookboxers series for 2-4-year-olds. Our focus was zoo animals in a playful, family oriented story. First, we showed the boys the story to familiarize them with the characters and words; they were engrossed in the AniBook then giggled when they first saw the monkey or dancing peacock.


It was evident the boys understood the story and knew all the animals, so it seemed this AniBook was a bit easy for them. We could have watched the story again, pausing it before the zoo animal appeared on the screen and had them act out how a lion roars or how a monkey jumps. Instead, we asked them to act out the animals at the end of the story with no luck. They were a bit shy. As I tried to break the ice by jumping like a monkey to show the boys how it’s done, one smiled – he was having a good time watching me make a fool of myself while we taught them about zoo animals!

zoo 2.png

Instead of getting out of their seats, we asked more questions: “what is your favorite animal?” The shy boy didn’t answer, but the other said lion and we eventually roared like one, too. We all giggled together. He knew the word ‘lion,’ could associate it with the animal and could even make the mighty sound, too!


We ran out of time, but if we had more, we would have the children draw their favorite animal.

Try this activity with your students or children. Let us know what you think and how the kids enjoy our AniBooks!

character 1Tamar is BookBox’s Outreach and Social Media Coordinator. Now in Pondicherry, India, Tamar was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, then in 2014 graduated from Binghamton University in International Social Change. You can find her at tamar@bookbox.com, on Twitter at @tamargc, going on outdoor adventures or eating delicious vegetarian Indian food.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s