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Teachers, home educators, and involved parents enjoy helping children solve this puzzle to develop vocabulary and word recognition. Other interactive exercises, like a large muscle activity, are included in this lesson plan for elementary students. Why not give it a try today, and see how much your kids enjoy it?
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This lesson plan is designed for elementary grade students and takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Children solve a word scramble puzzle, move like animals, and hear a story. This lesson builds on information taught in prior lessons based on the children's book Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth by Eric Carle.
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Sloth Word Scramble
Here is a list of animals named in the story of the slow-moving sloth. This vocabulary drill exercises the following skills:
- Word recognition
- Fine motor
- Critical thinking
Copy and paste the word list into any word processing program, then make enough copies for all students. This exercise can be used as a self-paced or timed activity.
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Teacher Answer Key for Sloth Puzzle
When the kids finish unscrambling the words, have them exchange papers with another student. Let them take turns calling out the words while you write them on a whiteboard. After the words are decoded, let the class take turns choosing a word and saying the sound made by the first letter of the word.
Answer key: armadillo, ants, toucan, macaw, quetza, anaconda, bat, puma, butterfly, anteater, turtle, monkey, caiman, hummingbird, porcupine, lizard, jaguar
This exercise reinforces the brain connections made when words are seen, heard, and internalized, and increases vocabulary development and recognition.
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Sloth Gross Motor Skills Activity
Try this energetic exercise to develop gross motor skills in your classroom, and see how much the kids love it. This activity is easy to do and requires no special skills or preparation. Let the children take turns choosing an animal from the list on the chalkboard and then move like their animal. After everyone has a turn, line the students up in a single line. Lead the children in a march around the room while everyone moves like their chosen animal. For even more fun, let them make the animal sounds.
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Reading Activity and Lesson Conclusion
Have the class sit down for story time. Tell them to remember their chosen animal because when they hear the animal's name mentioned, they get to make the appropriate sound. This exercise sharpens listening skills, and links the sound of words to their meaning. Read the book Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth to the class, and praise the children's efforts when they hear the animal names and make the correct sound.
For other Eric Carle lesson plans, please read "Fun Elementary Math Lesson Plan: The Very Busy Spider."
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Teacher Lesson Plans Book List
Try these books on related subjects for lesson extensions and increased learning opportunities.
The Upside-Down Sloth, Fay Robinson
Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About the Rainforest, Kathy Ross
Learn About Rainforests, Jen Green
If you need a lesson plan with an African theme, read "Eric Carle Lesson Plans for an African Theme Unit."