Creative Movement for Kids & Toddlers Exploring Safari Animals

In this dance class for kids and toddlers, my daughter Sydney, and I explore, using creative movement, three animals who make their homes in the Savannah of Africa – the Rhinoceros, the Giraffe, and the Gazelle. We had such a fun time making this video for you and we really got a great workout especially moving like Gazelles who like to pronk or stott which means they leap into the air off all four of their legs!

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LINKS TO THE CURRICULUM

Having been a teacher in Australia with a Bachelor of Education (Primary), I am always looking at ways to creatively teach children and regularly used dance and movement in my classroom to enforce learning of concepts and material we were learning about in different areas of the school curriculum.

The following are some links and connections that can be made from this creative dance lesson to other areas of learning!

Mathematics or Arithmetic

For this one, I really don’t want to reinvent the wheel! I would recommend you use a search engine to look up terms such as ‘giraffe maths’ or ‘safari maths’ or maths activities about rhinos, giraffes or gazelles and you will be surprised at the number of free resources available to you such as this worksheet from education.com.

English and Literacy

  • Create a spelling list of animals that you might see on Safari.
  • Create a list of words that are pronounced with a hard g such as in the word giraffe compared to those that are spelt with a soft g such as in the word gazelle.
  • Create a list of adjectives to describe rhinoceros, giraffes or gazelles.
  • Create a list of verbs to describe how rhinoceros, giraffes or gazelles move.
  • Recount a time you have visited the zoo.
  • Write a narrative about going on a safari adventure that includes a rhinoceros or a giraffe or gazelle.
  • Research and then write a report or explanation about rhinoceros’, giraffes or gazelles.
  • Write an argumentative or persuasive essay expressing your position on zoos, hunting or urbanization and the taking over of animal habitats.

Science

  • Go on an excursion to the zoo or watch a documentary about these animals.
  • Learn about the African Savannah ecosystem and why they are important for our Earth.
  • Explore how these animals have evolved over time.
  • Roleplay being a vet at a zoo or a ranger for a national park in Africa – create a veterinarian clinic at home or in the classroom and discover how to care for these animals. (links to biology)
  • You could explore the concept of force and push by investigating how a rhino uses it’s head and body weight and momentum to push over large heavy objects.

Social Studies/History

  • Rhinoceros are an animal currently on the world wild life endangered list. Investigate why their numbers have become so low and create a project around creating awareness to protect these or another endangered species.

Geography

  • Mark on a map of the world all the locations that rhinoceros, giraffes and gazelles live in their natural habitat.
About the Author

Samantha Bellerose

Samantha is a wife and mother of four kids aged 1-9. She danced and acted from the age of 5 and performed in film clips, on television, and in musical theatre professionally. She also taught dance, but after leaving the profession to backpack through Europe, Canada and the USA with her husband for three years, she then completed an Education Degree and taught within primary schools in Australia. Today she is a business owner with her husband and the creator and writer for Dance Parent 101 where she hopes her previous experience as a dancer, current experience as a dance parent and the research and writing skills she gained completing her education degree will help enlighten parents on their journey with their child through the world of dance.