A Lion In the Night

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This is an activity based on the picture book A Lion In the Night

Achievement Objectives
GM1-3: Give and follow instructions for movement that involve distances, directions, and half or quarter turns.
GM1-4: Describe their position relative to a person or object.
Specific Learning Outcomes
  • Students will be able to give a direction to another person using the vocabulary of position and orientation.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the vocabulary of position and orientation through modeling.
Description of Mathematics
  • The position and movement of one object to another can be described using a specific vocabulary.
  • A map is a 2-dimensional representation of a 3-dimensional context.
Required Resource Materials
  • A Lion in the Night Vocabulary Cards (copymaster)
  • Blocks
  • A Lion In the Night by Pamela Allen
  • Toys
  • Digital camera

Follow Me!
This activity is based on the book: A Lion In the Night

Author: Pamela Allen
Illustrator: Pamela Allen
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton (1985)
ISBN: 0-340-541490

The royal baby is taken on an adventure by a lion in the middle of the night. As they dash through the countryside, followed by the Queen, the King and the whole court, the story creates a map. The vocabulary of position and direction is developed with colourful and engaging pictures.

Lesson Sequence:

  1. Prior to reading, explore the students’ understanding of maps and what they represent. Create/share a simple map on the whiteboard with some features such as a pond or river, a bridge, a bush area, a house and a road. Tell a story emphasising the key vocabulary of position and direction as you ask students to move a character around on your map. You may want to create a word bank with the cards and blue tac them to the board for reference later (copymaster).
  2. Share the story with your students. As you get to one of the vocabulary words ask them to find it from the word bank and make sure the diagram on the card is understood in relation to the key word.
  3. Explore the map on p. 24 and trace the journey back to the castle emphasizing the vocabulary words again.
  4. In response to the story, ask students to work in pairs to create a small scene from blocks or other materials such as toys or boxes. Give each pair a set of the vocabulary cards and ask them to take turns as the director and the follower. The director turns the cards over one at a time and gives a direction. The follower has to listen and move the toy through the scene.
    Depending on the age and independence of the students you may need to model this before it becomes and independent activity.
    For example, the director can draw a card and say “Move the car over the bridge. Now go through the town. Then go under the mountain. Now go across the desert.
  5. As an extension activity, students can take photos of their “stories” and create maps or slideshows.
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Level One