Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes by Christen Conrad

Early readers start learning about story plot and structure right from the get-go.  They learn that stories tend to follow a pattern and how to identify the story elements within that pattern.  The basic story elements include:
  • characters (the main people or animals in the story)
  • setting (where and when the story takes place)
  • problem (the biggest problem in the story or decision that needs to be made)
  • solution (how the problem is solved or the final decision made)
Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes by Christen Conrad is a fun, fast-paced story with easily identifiable characters, setting, problem, and solution that could be integrated easily into a language arts unit about story elements. Who is Zester the Zebra? How did his stripes go missing? How can you integrate Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes into your lessons? Keep reading to find out!

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.  #kellysclassroomonline

Author's Summary

In this first book of the Forever Zoo Friends Series, a Zebra named Zester wakes up one morning to find his black stripes are not on his body. Worried about his missing stripes, he sets out to find them. Zester searches high and low, and everywhere in-between. He doesn't have much luck finding his stripes until his friend, Happy the Hippo joins in the search. Happy chooses not to give up on her friend Zester in trying to find his black stripes because she knows Zester really misses his stripes. A good friend is always there for you to help you out! Will they be able to find his stripes? This is a cute little rhyming story about the value of a friendship between a zebra and a hippopotamus. In addition to teaching children the value of friendships, this story will show the importance of helping others out.

🍎 Title: Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes
🍎 Author: Christen Conrad
🍎 Illustrator: Jeremy Wells
🍎 Publisher: self-published
🍎 Date: October 14, 2020
🍎 Pages: 24

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.  #kellysclassroomonline

Before Reading Zester the Zebra

Before reading Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes to your students, take a few minutes to review what story elements are... character, setting, problem, and solution.  Picture walk through Zester the Zebra and discuss what they see happening in the illustrations.  Who are the characters?  Where does the story take place?  What is the problem?  How did the problem get solved?  What else do they see happening?  Can we see examples of the characters working together and helping each other out?


Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.  #kellysclassroomonline

Reading Zester the Zebra

After previewing Zester the Zebra, go ahead and read the story together.  As you read the story, focus on the story elements... were your students correct when they identified the characters, setting, problem, and solution.  Also, focus on the themes of friendship and how friends help one another.  When you are finished with Zester the Zebra and if time allows, have your students record the story elements on the story map below.  You can decide if you want your students to record the details in complete sentences or in a dot-jot format.

  • characters: Zester the Zebra and Happy the Hippo
  • setting: outside, in the woods, in nature
  • problem: Zester the Zebra lost his stripes and doesn't know where they are.
  • solution: Zester the Zebra and Happy the Hippo find the stripes and glue them on Zester the Zebra's back so he won't lose them again.

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.
 
To download a FREE copy of this printable (one page in all), please click on the image above. Clicking this image will take you to the Teachers-Pay-Teachers third party website. This is a FREE download-- no purchase necessary.

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.  #kellysclassroomonline

Where Are Zester the Zebra's Stripes?

Zester the Zebra lost his stripes when he fell asleep and they scampered off.  At the end of the Zester the Zebra, he and Happy the Hippo decided to glue down those stripes to make sure they won't fall off again.  Now it's your students' turn to glue down some stripes on a zebra of their own!

You will need:

  • glue
  • scissors
  • white construction paper
  • strips of various sizes cut or torn from black construction paper
  • cardstock template of a zebra (optional)
  • black and white yarn torn in different lengths (optional)

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.  #kellysclassroomonline

Directions:

1. Make a template of a zebra on cardstock.  This zebra template is an old sewing pattern of mine that I found on my hard drive. (The breaks in the outline indicate where I would have used tufts of yarn for the zebra's mane and tail.)  If you'd like to use this pattern to make your zebra template, go for it.  Just right-click the zebra and save the image.  An alternative option is to simply let your students draw their own zebras. Either option will work well and be lots of fun!

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.  #kellysclassroomonline

2.  If you decided to have your students use a template to make their zebras, help them trace and cut out the zebras as needed.  Pass out black construction paper for your students to cut or tear zebra stripes out of it.  The students will then glue them into place.

Zebra Paper Craft from https://www.deepspacesparkle.com/zebra-art-lessons/
(Photo credit: Deep Space Sparkle)

Movement and Dance

Kids love to dance and sing... especially the little ones!  Here is a cute little song by Little Angel called Little Zebra Lost His Stripes.  After reading Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes and helping your students make zebras of their own, have some fun and dance to this song.  Warning... if you listen to Little Zebra too often... the song WILL get stuck in your head!


Can you think of some other fun ideas and activities to go with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes?  If so, share them in the comments below!

Learn about story elements and friendship with Zester the Zebra and His Missing Stripes written by Christen Conrad. Lesson includes a fun zebra craft.  #kellysclassroomonline

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