Completing our alphabet safari

  • Education
  • Sunday, 07 Jun 2020

NIE, the acronym for Newspaper-In-Education, is the name of an educational partnership between the newspaper industry and participating school systems.

In the last few weeks, The Star has been sharing newspaper ideas and activities with parents and guardians during the movement control order (MCO) to keep the children engaged in fun learning.

There is no limit to a good newspaper’s capacity to interest students in learning!

To make your (NiE) experience an enjoyable one, consider these suggestions:

Give children plenty of space when using The Star. They can sit at tables or on the floor.

Separate sections of The Star. Give children only the sections they will be using. Consider stapling the folded edge of each section for easier handling.

Some activities will call for glue, scissors, pencils and crayons. If you plan to use the section over a period of days, you might want to have the children use tape for cut-and-paste activities to prevent pages from sticking together.

Let’s pick up from where we left off last week!

Each animal in Alphabet Safari has an African name. according to the book, African Names by Julia Stewart, there are many African traditions that influence the naming of children. Many are named for the time or day they were born, such as daytime or market day. Others are named for major events occurring at the time of birth. Regardless, the african names are rich in tradition and have many wonderful meanings.

Nia of the Nile (Crocodile, that is!)

Nia (NEE-ah) is a Nile crocodile, an animal that lives near a famous African river called the Nile. Nia spends most of her time sunning herself on the riverbanks. Look one food item from The Star that begins with the letter “N”. Cut it out and paste it above Nia.

While on safari, read:

Crocodile Beat by G. Jorgensen

Crocodile’s Tale by Jose Aruego with A. Aruego

Obi the Ostrich

Obi (OH-bee) the Ostrich is a bird, but like all ostriches he does not fly. Instead, his good eyesight and great speed help him escape danger. To help keep Obi safe, give him his yearly eye checkup (just like the one at your doctor’s office). On a separate sheet of paper, make a chart using big and small letters cut out from The Star. Put the big letters on the top and the small letters on the bottom. Give the eye checkup to your siblings, too.

While on safari, read:

New Friends, True Friends, Stuck-Like-Glue Friends by Virginia Kroll

Paki the Porcupine

Like most animals, Paki (PAH-kee) the Porcupine has built-in protection. He has long, pointed quills that are sharp when you touch them. Look through your newspaper for pictures of other things that are sharp. Look also for pictures of things that feel soft, hard, rough, and smooth. Talk about the letters each item begins with.

While on safari, read:

Porcupine’s Pajama Party by Terry Harshman

The Porcupine by Anne Marie Dalmais

Qwara the Quail

Qwara (KWAHR-ah) the quail is a small bird found mostly in the northern part of Africa. She enjoys sitting quietly. But when she’s in danger, Qwara lets out a loud squawk and flies away. Look through The Star’s comics for characters that are quiet and characters that are loud. Then quietly underline newspaper words that have the letter “Q” in them. Bonus: What letter is “Q” always followed by (in English)?

While on safari, read:

Q is for Duck by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom

Rudi the Rhinoceros

Looking at Rudi (ROO-dee), you might think you’re seeing double. But you’re not! He’s a type of rhinoceros that has two horns on his nose (instead of one). Look through The Star for examples of things that come in twos, such as shoes. Then try to make Rudi see double. Cut out newspaper letters to spell the name R-U-D-I — twice! Paste them in front of his picture.

While on safari, read:

Rupert the Rhinoceros by Carl Memling

Rainbow Rhino by Peter Sis

Suri the Serval

Suri (SOOR-ee) the Serval has a head like a cat you might have for a pet. But his spotted body sets him apart. Count the spots on Suri and write the number on the line. Then look for some “S” words in The Star. Paste them in the space below.

While on safari, read:

Catastrophe Cat at the Zoo by Dennis Panek

Terence the Tortoise

Terence (TEHR-uhns) is a tortoise, a type of turtle that lives only on land. To protect himself, Terence hides inside his own special “house” — a hard, dome-shaped shell. Give Terence’s “house” a new look. Find newspaper pictures of things you might find inside a house. Paste them on a sheet of A4 paper so that they make a collage on Terence’s shell. Beside each item, write the letter it begins with.

While on safari, read:

The Tortoise and the Tree by Janina Domanska

A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman

Usutu the Gnu

Usutu (oo-SOO-too) the Gnu (nu) is an animal with a funny name — two of them, in fact. This very fast animal is also called a wildebeest. Look through The Star’s comics for characters with funny names. Then create your own comic character by pasting the head of one comic-strip character onto the body of another. Paste your creature alongside Usutu. Be sure to give it a funny name!

While on safari, read:

If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss

The Alphabet Tale by Jan Garten, illustrated by Muriel Batherman

Vezo the Vulture

Vezo (VEH-zoh) the Vulture is a large bird that lives in the open country. He has excellent eyesight and can spot his prey from far away. Help Vezo spot the “V”s in your copy of the newspaper. Circle as many of them as you can find. Then cut out five of the “V”s and paste them below.

While on safari, read:

Why the Sky is Far Away: A Nigerian Folktale retold by Mary-Joan Gerson

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judith Barrett, illustrated by Ron Barrett

Walda the Warthog

A warthog like Walda (WAHL-dah) is a large African pig named for the “warts” on her head. She lives in the forest, where she can easily hide from danger. Pretend some words are hiding in your newspaper. Find six words that begin with the letter “W.” Cut them out and “hide” them in the thicket with Walda.

While on safari, read:

How Animals Hide by Robert M. McClung

Anansi and the Talking Melon by Eric A. Kimmel

Xetsa the Ibex

Xetsa (heht-SAH) the Ibex is a wild goat that lives in Africa. Like cows, goats give milk. Find an advertisement for milk in The Star newspaper and paste it below. How many glasses of milk do you drink a day? Find and circle that many “X”s (or more!) in the newspaper.

While on safari, read:

How Animals Care for Their Babies by Roger Hirschland

Alphabet Animals by Charles Sullivan

Yahya the Hyena

Yahya (YAH-yah) is an animal famous for its howl — a weird sound that resembles a human laugh. Give Yahya the Hyena something to really howl about. Cut out five funny characters from The Star comic strips and paste them below. For each character, make up a funny name that begins with “Y.”

While on safari, read:

Animal Clowns by Jane R. McGoldrick

Useful Objects Chinye: A West African Folk Tale by Obi Onyefulu

Zili the Zebra

Zebras like Zili (ZEE-lee) are striped animals that have the shape of a horse. Many items in your copy of The Star newspaper are shaped like other things — a circle, a square, a rectangle, and a diamond. Find examples of these shapes, then cut them out and make a collage. Can you find a picture of something striped? Cut it out and paste it next to Zili. Then help Zili replace his missing stripes by drawing some new ones.

While on safari, read:

Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert

Greddy Zebra by Mwenye Hadithi

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