Crocodiles and alligators are fascinating creatures.
- Nile Crocodile
- Make a crocodile or alligator moving figure with paper fasteners. I like to put these on two craft sticks, one for the jaw and one for the tail, and wiggle them around as puppets during story time. (Use the same idea for a great little dragon puppet, too.)
- Miss Amy’s 5 Little Monkeys Lesson Plan tells about five monkeys having a bit of a run in with an alligator. Very fun music and action lesson for little ones, and a good chance to talk about teasing.
Favorite books for younger readers:
- Crocodiles by Mary Hoff includes some amazing photos.
- Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra is a romp of a rhyme.
- The Monkey and the Crocodile: A Jataka Tale from India is another of Paul Galdone’s traditional folktales. Judy Sierra’s book gives a nod to this tale, so read the two together.
- Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber is a classic, with gentle pictures of Lyle the Crocodile living in a brownstone.
- The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl with illustrations by the inimitable Quentin Blake is another celebration of cleverness and cooperation. Comprehension questions and activities for this book.
- I, Crocodile by Fred Marcellino is a wonderful source of sensory vocabulary, not to mention at chance to bring Napoleon and Egypt into the classroom (you have to seize chances like that).
- There’s a Crocodile Under My Bed! has sensitive illustrations and a crocodile who becomes a magical playmate.
- There’s an Alligator under My Bed is Mercer Mayer’s take on a similar situation. Compare the two!
- See You Later, Alligator! carries the catch phrase on with variants like, “Time to scoot, warty newt!” Great for studying rhymes. Happy pictures, too.
- The Lady with the Alligator Purse is a picture book version of the old jump rope rhyme. I’m always amazed that kids don’t know any jump rope rhymes — bring some into your classroom for rhyme, rhythm, and P.E. all in one.
- Alligators All Around is Maurice Sendak’s witty alphabet book.
- Bring the two together with Alligators and Crocodiles by Gail Gibbons, and learn the difference, too.
Add to the fun:
- Plush Crocodile Puppet
- Crocodile Dentist is a game mixing crocodiles, tooth care, and a big element of surprise. We can’t claim that it’s a learning game exactly, but it’s big fun for little kids, and it involves taking turns, something some students really need to practice.
- Alligator Ring Toss Game is great for hand-eye coordination.
Enjoy the song, “Never Smile at a Crocodile.” The music was written by Frank Churchill for the 1953 Disney Film Peter Pan, and the words were written later by Jack Lawrence. Sing along!
Never smile at a crocodile
No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile
Don’t be taken in by his welcome grin
He’s imagining how well you’d fit within his skin
Never smile at a crocodile
Never dip your hat and stop to talk awhile
Never run, walk away, say good-night, not good-day
Clear the aisle but never smile at Mister Crocodile
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