Explore a range of traditional animal tales, famous animal characters and animal rhymes to discover the lessons we can learn from their adventures and mishaps! Children consider how to be brave and helpful. Children set their own targets and persevere to achieve them and appreciate the power of working together as a team. This block focusses primarily on the personal, communication and emotional development objectives around playing cooperatively, showing sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings and forming positive relationships. They use animal role models as the catalyst for discussion, writing and creative expression.

Session 1 Chicken Licken: being brave!

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen attentively in a range of situations.
  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Express self effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs.
  • Develop narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
  • Play co-operatively, taking turns with others.
  • Take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.
  • Show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

Teaching and Activities

Children explore the story of Chicken Licken to identify and describe the emotion of courage. They share experiences where they have been brave and explain strategies they have used. 

Children will:

  • Identify times they have been brave.
  • Appreciate that people are brave in different ways.
  • Retell and sequence a familiar story.
  • Make adaptations to a familiar story.

You Will Need

  • Special visitor puppet/soft toy
  • Handwriting pencils
  • Sticky notes
  • 10 strips of card
  • Small world farm/forest scene and animal characters

Session 2 Elmer the Elephant: being different is OK!

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen attentively in a range of situations.
  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Play co-operatively, taking turns with others.
  • Take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.
  • Show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
  • Represent ideas, thoughts and feelings through art, role-play and stories.

Teaching and Activities

Children explore how they are similar and different to each other. They recognise the physical and personality differences that make us all unique. Children positively celebrate their individuality!

Children will:

  • Recognise the similarities and differences between themselves and their peers.
  • Understand that differences between people should be celebrated.
  • Express their ideas through art and writing.

You Will Need

  • Special visitor puppet or soft toy
  • Elmer the Elephant by D McKee
  • Photo of each child
  • Role-play masks
  • Handwriting pencils
  • Unifix or multilink cubes

Session 3 Herman the Helper: being helpful!

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen attentively in a range of situations.
  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Give attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
  • Talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable.
  • Show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

Teaching and Activities

Children identify how they and others can be helpful, the feelings associated with giving and receiving help and the socially appropriate behaviour to acknowledge help.

Children will:

  • Identify helpful and unhelpful behaviour.
  • Recognise the positive emotions associated with being helpful and receiving help.
  • Understand how facial expressions indicate how people are feeling.
  • Know people in the local community who are able to help them.

Provided Resources

  • Helpful and unhelpful statements
  • Helpful and unhelpful pictures

You Will Need

  • Special visitor puppet or soft toy
  • Herman the Helper by R Kraus
  • Large sheets of paper
  • Paper plates
  • Mirrors
  • Road mat
  • Rescue vehicles

Session 4 The tortoise and the hare: never give up!

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Listen attentively in a range of situations.
  • Listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • Say why some activities are liked more than others.
  • Speak confidently in a familiar group and will talk about ideas.
  • Choose the resources needed for the chosen activities.
  • Say when help is or is not needed.
  • Talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members.
  • Know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this.
  • Know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

Teaching and Activities

Children understand that everyone finds things difficult, but that it is possible to achieve difficult goals when they persevere. Children appreciate the feelings of frustration and achievement.

Children will:

  • Recognise that people find different activities difficult.
  • Identify activities they find difficult, but would like to be better at.
  • Suggest different strategies to achieve a goal.

You Will Need

  • Special visitor toy
  • Handwriting pencils
  • Circle of thick white card
  • Coloured ribbon
  • Masking-tape
  • Mixed art media
  • A1 sheet of green and red paper
  • Range of different size/shape jigsaws

Session 5 Traditional animal rhymes: performing to an audience!

Objectives

Early learning goals

  • Speak confidently in a familiar group.
  • Sing songs and make music, and experiment with ways of changing them.
  • Represent ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, role-play and stories.

Teaching and Activities

Children learn a range of traditional nursery rhymes that include animal characters. They make adaptations to these to invent original versions. Children work collaboratively to add music and actions and perform each rhyme to an audience.

Children will:

  • Learn and adapt traditional nursery rhymes.
  • Accompany familiar songs with musical instruments and actions.
  • Work collaboratively to perform to an audience.
  • Use puppets and small world figures to create own songs and stories.

You Will Need

  • Special visitor puppet or soft toy
  • Untuned percussion instruments
  • Semi-circles of paper
  • Googly eyes
  • Pipe-cleaners
  • Rubber ducks
  • Selection of alternative animals for water tray
  • Small world farm setting with animals
  • Digital camera