Patterns in nature – jaguars and zebras

Image result for jaguar patternsImage result for zebra patterns closeup

Over the past few days, we have been looking at patterns on the coats of animals.  This week we focused on the jaguar and the zebra.  We saw how the pattern on a jaguar is black spots on an orange background.  The spots are made out of a central spot surrounded by other spots.  We also saw how zebras are all black and white though no zebra is exactly by the other.  We took this opportunity to learn more about both animals.  We listening to the sounds that they made.  They saw the habitats that these animals inhabit and saw how jaguars prefer living on their own whilst zebras live in packs. Lastly, we saw that the jaguar eats other animals and the zebra eats grass, leaves, twigs and bark – the children were much happier with the zebra’s diet as even though they laughed as we saw the animals that jaguars eat, they did not totally approve of the jaguar’s choice of food.

We read the 2 stories from the alpha tales series – Jaguar’s Jungleberry Jamboree and Zack the Lazy Zebra.   These are lovely stories that link the jaguar to the letter j and the zebra to the letter z using rhyming sentences and lots of words beginning with the letters j and z.  You can find these stories on the e learning site –

I would encourage you to read these stories to your children at home (perhaps on a tablet at bedtime) as the children really enjoyed them.  Both books have a page at the end of them in which the children are asked to identify pictures that start with the j or z sound.  We played this game at school but you can do so again at home.

Letter j is a ladder letter and is shaped like this “Start at the top, go down and make a hook”.  The children remarked that it looked like a letter i.  I explained that the letter i has a tail (which curves to the right) like the letters t and l whilst the letter j has a hook (which curves to the left) like a g.   If your child happens to confuse the two letters, don’t worry it is quite normal at this stage.  Just gently remind them of the difference between a hook and a tail.

Letter z is a zig zag monster letter and is shaped like this “Start at the top, go across, slide to the left, go across”

The e learning page for the pages j and z are and


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