Theme: Pets

This unit deals with our animal friends - pet dogs, kittens, snakes, peacocks, rats, mice, frogs, fish, 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
Bad Cat
(Short Vowels
Easy Readers)
Worksheet #1:
True or False
Worksheet #2:
Draw or write about why a cat makes a good pet. In pairs, talk about the ways pets misbehave. (Use personal stories if applicable). Create a cat mask using a paper plate.
Zip Stage 1
Let’s Get Wet
(Short Vowels
Easy Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Describe the Picture
How is their pet dog described? (friendly)
Write other describing words for pets.
Draw or write about why a dog makes a good pet. In a small group, make a list of the top 10 best pets. Worksheet #1:
Read and Draw
Zip Stage 2
Five White Mice
(Long Vowels
Easy Readers)
Worksheet #1:
Story Sequencing
Make word families for the words ‘five’, ‘white’ & ‘mice’. Worksheet #2:
Write a Script
Do mice make good pets? In pairs, write why or why not. Make icy-pole stick puppets of the five white mice and role play the story.
Zip Stage 3
Tiny Ted Saves Tilly
(People Like Me
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
Story Focus
Worksheet #1:
Spelling/Grammar Focus
Dogs make better pets than cats. Do you agree? Write 3 reasons why or why not. In a small group, list the ways dogs help humans e.g. guide dogs, companion dogs. Design a poster about how to care for a pet dog.
Zip Stage 3
The Silly Mouse
(Imaginary Worlds
Junior Readers)
Worksheet #2:
What’s the Order?
Worksheet #1:
Types of Words
Write an imaginative story about a pet mouse that is silly. In pairs, research what you would need to look after a pet mouse. Survey your classmates about their pets. Create a graph to show the results.
Zip Stage 4
The Crying in the Dark
General Worksheet #1:
Lost Property Procedure
Study ‘ar’ words (as in dark) Recount a time when you lost a pet or something special to you. Oral Report:
Why pets are special to a family.
General Worksheet #2:
Zip Stage 4
General Worksheet #1:
Design a Comic Strip
General Worksheet #2:
Adding ‘ing’
Retell the story from Peabrain’s point of view. Present an oral report about peacocks. Create a poster about an unusual pet you would love to own.
Zip Stage 4
Extra Lucky
General Worksheet #3:
Losing a Pet
Study the prefix ‘un’ e.g. lucky/unlucky General Worksheet #1:
Pet Photos
General Worksheet #2:
‘Guess Who?’ Competition
Draw the life cycle of your pet or a pet you would like to own.
Zip Stage 4
Mr Moogle is Missing
List the ways Kate’s Mum and Dad tried to help her. General Worksheet #2:
Write a story about having an unusual pet. General Worksheet #1:
Peculiar Pets
Orally share responses.
Design a ‘Missing’ poster for Mr Moogle.
Zip Stage 5
What’s That Smell?
Describe how the pet dog in the story got his name. Use the title to study the use of question marks. General Worksheet #1:
Who’s To Blame?
In pairs, brainstorm ways to make King smell nicer. Create a special perfume for a smelly pet dog.
Zip Stage 6
Cookie, the Shoe Chewing Dog
Compare how Mum feels about Cookie at the beginning and end of the story. Identify letter patterns that make the sound oe as in shoe e.g. flew, blue, you, through. Create an informative pamphlet about how to train a pet dog. General Worksheet #2:
Solving Problems
Share responses in a small group.
General Worksheet #1:
Caring for Your Dog
Zip Stage 6
Snow White, Super Rat
Study vocabulary in context using General Worksheet #2:
Words from Definitions
Make a list of words that use the word ‘super’ as a base word e.g. supermarket Write a narrative using the topic: The Day I Took My Pet      to School. Partner Activity - General Worksheet #1:
Use Your Imagination!
Describe the thoughts of each character in the picture on the last page.
Zip Stage 6
Copy Frog
Make predictions about what happened after the story finished and write the final chapter. Study the end sound ‘tion’ (making shun). Locate examples in the story e.g. competition. Complete General Worksheet #3 then write a narrative about a competition to win it. General Worksheet #1:
Act Like Your Pet
General Worksheet #2:
Pet Names and Habits Survey
Zip Stage 7
Fishy Business
Use story details to describe the advantages and disadvantages of having a pet fish. Scan the story for compound words e.g. goldfish. General Worksheet #1:
Pets Behaving Badly
General Worksheet #2:
Pet Poems
Read to an audience.
Using a shoebox, create a 3D diorama of the inside of a fish tank.
Zip Stage 7
Bill & the Kitten
Describe the relationship between Bill and his kitten. Explore words with different ‘n’ endings e.g. kitten, cushion, curtain. General Worksheet #1:
The Pet’s Perspective
General Worksheet #2:
Using Drama
How did the kitten try to help Bill? Identify ways pets help their owners.
Zip Stage 7
The Bread Thief
Use story details for General Worksheet #1:
Lost Pets
Study the rule ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ e.g. thief General Worksheet #2:
Holiday Fun
In pairs, create an action plan of what to do if a pet goes missing. Invent a device that locates missing dogs.
Zip Stage 7
Run, Roger, Run
General Worksheet #1:
Portrait of a Rat
Study how commas are used in the story to separate an introductory word or phrase e.g. pg 1: Along with Roger, Rats make great pets. Write an argument text explaining why you agree/disagree with this statement. Present an oral report about rodents. What are they? Which ones can be pets? Design a poster about the top 10 most intelligent animals on earth.

Assessment Ideas

  • Make a list of the animals that class members have as pets and use these words as a spelling list.
  • Use the Word Work and Spelling and Vocabulary Worksheets for the Reading Library stories to improve students’ spelling skills.
  • Write collective nouns for each of the animals from the spelling list e.g. a flock of birds.
  • Select a passage from one of the on-line stories as dictation assessing sentence structure.
  • 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 stories to practise a range of reading skills.
  • Design a comic strip of one of the on-line stories.
  • Write a detailed description of one or more of the pet characters from the on-line stories.
  • Write narratives using the following topics:
    The Naughty Kitten
    My Pet has Magical Powers!
    The Lonely Puppy
    The Fish Who Couldn’t Swim
  • Write an animal report about a chosen pet. Include in the report: Classification, Description, Feeding Habits, Breeding Habits and why they make a good pet.
  • Design an information booklet about how to care for a chosen pet.
Oral Language
  • Hold a ‘Pet Day Parade’ where students bring their pets to school. (Those without pets might bring an imaginative pet, such as a pet rock, or a picture of a pet they would like to have). Students introduce their pet to an audience and give a short oral speech about life with their pet.
  • In pairs, construct a chart showing the advantages and disadvantages of owning certain pets.
  • In a small group, present one of the on-line stories as Reader’s Theatre.
Related Ziptales Activities:

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