Savanna Safari Animal Puppets / Masks


I finally finished the first of many products celebrating life on the African savanna.  I am always looking for ways to get students to read where they don’t realize that they are actually reading!  (It helps a little to be a trickster if you’re a teacher.)  These realistic animal cutouts give students an up-close-and-personal look at the faces of some of the amazing creatures living on the grassy plains.  Although the sets overlap some, there are materials for students at different reading levels, from emergent to independent readers.

K-1 Set includes 10 animals and has simple paragraphs that may be printed on the backs of the images.

Grades 2-3 includes 10 animals, and has information included in outline form.

Grades 4-5 includes 11 animals, again with the information presented in outline form.

I prefer to use the images as puppets.  Just print and attach painters sticks to the back with packing tape and you’re ready to go!  I usually print classroom materials at draft or fast mode–it saves a lot of time and ink and the image quality is fine.  This time, however, I printed them at standard mode.  The images are really stunning!

  • The cheetah cub is sticking his tongue out!
  • The elephant is a wrinkly ole guy!
  • The hippopotamus opened his mouth to give a little look at his peg teeth.
  • The wildebeest has just come out of his mud bath.
  • The giraffe is licking his nose with his 18 inch tongue.
  • The vervet monkey can’t believe we’re looking at him!
  • The olive baboon has a lot on his mind.
  • The ostrich is showing off a big grin.
  • The crocodile displays ALL his teeth (well, almost all).
  • The little hyena cub looks downright sad.

Who knew animals could have such a variety of expressions on their faces!

You can also make the images into masks (just cut the eyes out and attach elastic to hold the mask on.  You can’t print the info on the back if you use them as masks.)  In addition to story telling, researching, report sharing, dramatic play, (and lots of other things included in the directions), you can use them to inspire descriptive writing, retelling of Aesop’s Fables, or character creation.

If you’d like a preview of the materials, click here.  (It includes a free hippo puppet and its information for all three levels.)  You can also check them out at Teachers Pay Teachers, or Teacher’s Notebook.  I just love it when children play to learn, don’t you ?


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