Theme: Dangerous Creatures

This unit deals with all sorts of scary animals, both real and fantastic - killer crocodiles, crazy zoos, dangerous bears, wolves, spiders, snakes, dinosaurs, scorpions, and more.

It is vital for teachers to understand the Ziptales 10 stage Reading Scheme, which governs how reading groups can be formed in a way which matches children’s abilities to the appropriate texts. To check on this essential resource - click here.

The 10 Zip Stages cover all levels of reading ability, from Foundation/Prep/Kindergarten through to Year 6. This scheme underpins the whole Themes module.


Learning Components

Focus Stories Comprehension Conventions Writing Speaking & Listening Extension
Zip Stage 1
Oh No!
(Short Vowels
Easy Readers)
Draw and label the creatures in the story as Dangerous or Not Dangerous. Worksheet #2:
Describing Words
Write a sentence about the dangerous creature you are most scared of. Work together as a group to complete
Worksheet #1:
Sorting Words
Draw a simple diagram of a redback spider.
Zip Stage 1
Have You Ever?
(Consonant Blends
Easy Readers)
Can the things in this story happen in real life? Why or why not? Worksheet #1:
Sorting Words
Write some funny
Have you ever seen...
sentences.
Complete Worksheet #2:
Finish the Sentences
Share responses with others.
Design a poster warning people to ‘STAY AWAY’ from snakes and spiders.
Zip Stage 2
What is Bigger Than?
(Simple Digraphs
Easy Readers)
Worksheet #1:
Answering Questions
Worksheet #2:
Adding ‘er’ and ‘est’
Write a story about a friendly dinosaur. Share your thoughts with a partner about which dangerous creature in the story is the scariest. Find out some simple facts about one of the dangerous creatures in the story.
Zip Stage 2
Close Your Eyes
(Long Vowels
Easy Readers)
List and illustrate the five senses used in the story. Worksheet #1:
Exploring Sounds
Worksheet #2:
Writing Poems
Act out a story about finding a real dinosaur bone in your backyard. Classify dangerous creatures as real (e.g. dinosaur) or imaginary (e.g. dragon).
Zip Stage 2
Follow the Rules
(Long Vowels
Easy Readers)
Write about what could happen if the rules in the story aren’t followed. Worksheet #1:
The Magic ‘e’
Worksheet #2:
Writing Rules
Discuss the different types of big cats that are dangerous to humans and describe their features. Find out the difference between a crocodile and an alligator.
Zip Stage 2
The Awful Animal Zoo
(Vowel/Consonant Digraphs
Easy Readers)
Compare how the author might feel at the two different types of zoos in the story. Worksheet #1:
Same Sound, Different Letters
Worksheet #2:
Synonyms
Present the story as Reader’s Theatre using effective voice expression. Create a 3D diorama of a dangerous creature in its natural environment.
Zip Stage 3
The Three Little Pigs
(Storytime)
Multiple Choice Questions
Worksheet #4:
A Moral Story
Worksheet #1:
Describing Characters
Worksheet #3:
A Safe Place
Work collaboratively to complete Worksheet #2: Making Choices Write a simple animal report about a wolf.
Zip Stage 3
Goldilocks and the Bears
(Storytime)
Explore story elements: identify the setting, characters and plot. Worksheet #1:
Word Building
Worksheet #3:
Nouns and Verbs
Worksheet #4:
The Story Continues
Co-operative Cloze
Worksheet #2:
Missing Words
What sorts of bears are there? Do a research project on bears.
Zip Stage 3
Little Red Riding Hood
(Storytime)
Multiple Choice Questions
Worksheet #2:
What Order?
Worksheet #3:
Nouns and Verbs
Worksheet #4:
Safety Warning
Co-operative Cloze
Worksheet #1:
Missing Words
Dogs and wolves are related. Design a poster about keeping safe around dogs.
Zip Stage 4
Tails of Bears
(Comedy)
Like many fables, the story has a clear ‘moral’ or ‘lesson’. What morals are commonly used in stories? Study homophones using the example from the title of the story: tails/tales Use a dangerous creature to complete General Worksheet #2:
Creating Fables
General Worksheet #1:
Fables
Design a pamphlet warning people about the dangers of polar bears.
Zip Stage 5
Arachnophoebe
(Yucky)
Explain in your own words what caused Phoebe’s arachnophobia. Study the ‘ph’ sound as in ‘phobia’ General Worksheet #2:
Words and Pictures
General Worksheet #1:
Phobias
Create an informative mini poster about how spiders spin their webs.
Zip Stage 5
In Your Sleep
(Scary)
General Worksheet #2:
Similes
General Worksheet #1:
Sentences
Use a mini-beast that is dangerous to humans for General Worksheet #3:
Writing a Report
Tell a scary story to a partner or the class about an encounter with a dangerous creature. Create a chart showing the spiders that are harmless and those that can be deadly.
Zip Stage 5
The Eye of the Idol
(Adventure)
Locate evidence from the story that proves Luke really is lucky. General Worksheet #1:
To, Too or Two?
General Worksheet #2:
Word Switch
Complete General Worksheet #4 then role play with a partner. General Worksheet #3:
Design a Front Cover
Zip Stage 5
Dr Wow in Atlantis
(Adventure)
Write a detailed character description of Uncle Harry. General Worksheet #1:
Swapping Synonyms
General Worksheet #2:
Facts About Mammals
In pairs, classify sea creatures as ‘harmless’ or ‘dangerous’ to humans. A kraken is a mythological creature based on a giant squid. Research facts about real life giant squids.
Zip Stage 6
Old Minty
(Adventure)
Retell the main events of the story in your own words. General Worksheet #2:
Word Find
Write an imaginative recount using the title:
My Encounter with a Snake!
Use information from the story to present an oral report about how to treat snakebites. General Worksheet #1:
Emergency Situations
Zip Stage 6
Snake!
(True Tales)
Use details from Page 1 to summarise where this story is set. General Worksheet #1:
Studying Suffixes
General Worksheet #3:
Research Project
General Worksheet #2:
Body Language
Create a data grid about dangerous jungle creatures.
Zip Stage 6
Live Dinosaur Tour
(Adventure)
Scan the text to complete General Worksheet #2:
Dinosaur Quiz
General Worksheet #1:
Have You Heard of Homographs?
General Worksheet #4:
My Life as a Dinosaur
Work collaboratively to create separate lists of dinosaurs that are ‘meat eaters’ and ‘plant eaters’. General Worksheet #3:
Dinosaur Research
Zip Stage 7
Princess Nightmare
(Animal)
General Worksheet #2:
Daily Disasters
List words with a similar meaning or role to ‘said’ using examples such as ‘cringed’ from the story. General Worksheet #3:
Asking Too Much
Group Activity
General Worksheet #1:
Pros and Cons
Which snakes are deadly to humans? Present the answer in a creative way.
Zip Stage 7
The Ghost Ship
(True Tales)
General Worksheet #1:
What Really Happened?
General Worksheet #2:
Sailing Ships
General Worksheet #3:
Read All About It!
Present on oral report in response to the topic Shark culls are cruel. Design a data grid about different types of sharks.
Zip Stage 8
The Pirate’s Prize
(Adventure)
General Worksheet #1:
Map Luke’s Adventure
Classify apostrophised words as contractions or possessive. General Worksheet #2:
Luke Meets Blackbeard
Work in pairs to create a slide show presentation about shark teeth. Which animals are considered predators by humans?
Zip Stage 9
Urban Myths
(Expository
Advanced Library)
Which urban myths are likely to be untrue? Give reasons for your answers. Worksheet #1:
Spelling Rule Myths
Write an imaginative story about an encounter with a crocodile in the New York sewer system. Present an oral report about the types of dangerous creatures people keep as pets. Research spiders that are deadly to humans.
Zip Stage 10
Nightmare Island
(Adventure
Advanced Library)
Worksheet #1:
Action-Packed Adventures
(Task 1)
Design a mind map of words with unusual silent letters like the ‘s’ in island. Worksheet #1:
Action-Packed Adventures
(Task 2)
Work in pairs to list the dangers on the island underneath headings e.g. animals, weather etc. Create an information brochure about scorpions.


Assessment Ideas

Spelling/Grammar
  • Make a list of dangerous creatures and use these words as a spelling list e.g. bear, snake, spider, dinosaur, crocodile, shark, rhinoceros, elephant, wolf, lion and hippopotamus.
  • Use the Word Work and Spelling and Vocabulary Worksheets for the Reading Library genre stories to improve students’ spelling skills.
  • Write collective nouns for each of the animals from the spelling list e.g. a herd of elephants.
  • Select a passage from one of the on-line stories as dictation assessing sentence structure.
Reading
  • Complete the Fill the Gaps and Multiple Choice questions at the end of the story (available for the Junior Readers, Reading Library and Advanced Library genre stories).
  • Use the Learning Support Worksheets for the Reading Library genre stories to practise a range of reading skills.
  • Design a comic strip of one of the on-line stories.
  • Describe the feelings of a chosen character when they encounter a dangerous creature from one or more of the on-line stories.
Writing
  • Imagine you have traveled back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth; write about your experiences.
  • Write narratives using the following topics:
    The Lazy Lion
    Shark Attack!
    Spiders Galore
  • Write an animal report about a chosen dangerous creature. Include in the report: Classification, Description, Feeding Habits, Breeding Habits and Interesting Facts.
Oral Language
  • Construct a timeline of the period when dinosaurs roamed the earth and present it orally to the class.
  • In pairs, create a mind map about five specific dangerous creatures found in Australia. For each creature, students provide details about why the animal is harmful to humans and how we can prevent an attack.
  • Plan and write a sensory poem about an encounter with a dangerous creature. To write a sensory poem, each line begins with the following introductions: I see... I hear... I smell... I taste... I feel... and at least ten words must be used for each line. Read poems aloud to the class.
Related Ziptales Activities:

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