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Maple Class Learning about Sloths

We are a Reception class of 29 lovely children from Norwich, in the east of England. The children are all 4 and 5 years old. We share a big book each week and a few weeks ago we chose Slowly, slowly, slowly said the Sloth by Eric Carle. We love this author and have read a few books by him. We especially like his beautiful, colourful illustrations.

We read the book together but first of all had a look at some photos and video clips of real sloths in the wild. The children were fascinted by their slow movements and wonderfully appealing faces! We looked at a video of David Attenborough really close up to one and the children loved that the sloth wasn’t afraid at all!

The book is full of illustrations of other rainforest animals and the children loved learning the names of them and spotting them on the pages. We painted and drew sloths and made a rainforest in our den area with binoculars and cameras in it. We also made our own book as a follow up called ‘Quickly, quickly, quickly said the cheetah’!  It was interesting to talk about things that we do slowly- sometimes it’s good to do things slowly- “I do my handwriting slowly and carefully!” “I read slowly because then I don’t make a mistake!”

The next day we read the foreword to the book which mentions Jane Goodall. They liked learning more facts about sloths and wondered what kind of person Jane must be to spend her time studying animals. We googled her and found her website. The children loved the photo of her looking right at a chimpanzee, his hand stretched out. “His hand is just like a person’s!” someone cried out! We learnt a bit about what Jane has done for animals and the children wanted to write to her to ask her the sloth questions they had thought of.

We discussed what would be a sloth’s predators and learnt a bit about how rainforests are being destroyed by bulldozers. “But why do we need so many buildings?” asked Joshua and Martha so wisely said “But the rainforest is full already. It’s where all these animals live. It’s full!” How true.
We all loved learning about the sloth, such an endearing and fascinating creature and thank you to Jasmina for answering all our questions!

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