Option #5 Choose Your Own Text


    I wrote this book, "Zoey the Zookeeper's Animal Friends", for Prof. Tom Hehir's Implementing Inclusive Education class in Fall 2014. Its purpose is to provide an introduction to animals that young children see in the zoo. The goal is to highlight similarities/differences of animals as well as each animals' individual characteristics.  

     In considering the composition of this book, I tried to incorporate principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) so that young children with different needs would have access to the text and information through multiple formats. I added the supports below and created a page layout that was user friendly with colorful pictures, captions, and sounds. 

1) Coaches- I used coaches to draw on the material in the text and ask  questions to keep the children engaged as well as assist children in thinking about comparisons of different animals. The coaches' role was to ask fun questions, engage the readers, and provide hints to some of the answers.

2) Captioned Audio and Image Information- Audio and pictures were used to enhance understanding of the text and engage the children's interests. Each page had a picture of the animal with a caption and some pages had embedded real sounds of the animal on the page. I used a particular layout that allowed me to use a large picture of the particular animal on the top page to be children/user friendly and inviting. While the audio/pictures were put in to engage all children, the audio would be especially helpful for blind children or children who have difficulty reading and the visual (pictures) would be useful for children who may be deaf, hard of hearing, or non-English speakers.

3) Text to Speech (TextHelp)- This feature allows children who have difficulty reading to have the book read aloud and visually connect the words they see on the page with the words they hear. This feature is enjoyable for all kids who like to be read to as well as accomodating new readers, struggling readers, blind children, children with poor eyesight, and dyslexic children.

4) Glossary-The glossary was used to introduce difficult words to the children reading the text. One goal of the book was to incorporate new words and build vocabulary. To increase comprehension and retention, I repeated some vocabulary terms throughout the book.

5) Spanish Translation-This feature was used to assist children who speak Spanish as well as children who want to learn Spanish. It can also help parents who speak Spanish assist in teaching and reading with their children.

6) Student Response Area-I incorporated this feature to assist children connect concepts to their own experiences or answer questions linked to the reading. This feature also would assist teachers in collecting responses in one document to be used as a further aid in designing a lesson about animals. 


Panda at the Zoo


By: Fatema Dariani

Walking Gorilla

Meet George the Gorilla. Gorillas are very intelligent and are closely related to humans. Their arms are longer than their legs. Gorillas are herbivores .

Penguins at the Zoo

Meet Perry the Penguin. Penguins are birds that can not fly. Most penguins are black and white. They live up to 80% of the time in the ocean.

Giraffe at the Zoo

Meet Gus the Giraffe. Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world and have the longest necks. They eat leaves, buds, and branches from trees. 

A Zebra in the Wild

Meet Zed the Zebra. Zebras are black and white. Their stripes are unique. No two zebras have the same stripe pattern. Their stripes work as camouflage. Zebras are herbivores. They eat grass, twigs, leaves.

Elephant taking a Dust Bath

Meet Ella the Elephant. Elephants are the largest land animals on the Earth. They have large, floppy ears and long noses called trunks which they use to pick up things, drink water, smell, and shower. Some elephants have two long pointed teeth called tusks. Elephants take dust baths because they have sensitive skin and the throwing dust and dirt on themselves help to protect skin from the sun. 


Meet Leo the Lion. Lions are called the king of the jungle. Male lions have a mane of hair around their heads. They have a loud roar and are very powerful. Lions are so closely related to tigers that if you shaved them, you couldn't tell them apart. Lions are carnivores.

Tiger in the Zoo

Meet Tom the Tiger. They usually have black stripes on orange or white fur. They have long tails and are carnivores . They are excellent swimmers.

Resting Polar Bear

Meet Bo the Bear. Bears are found all over the world. They are different types of bears but they are all covered in fur because they are all mammals . They have short legs and a round head. There are many different types of bears. They hibernate for the winter. 

Hippo in the Water

Meet Harry the Hippopotamus. We call them hippos for short. Adult hippos can hold their breath under water up to 6 minutes. They can go three weeks without eating and live in the water most of the time. 


* All facts taken from www.livescience.com