Shark in the Park, by Nick Sharratt, tells a story of a little boy, Timothy Pope who goes to the Park. Teachers can use the story a number of different ways to teach preschoolers about telescopes, sharks, direction and rhyming words. It can also spark the children’s imagination in reminding them about their own adventures in the park.
Timothy Pope uses a telescope to look around the park. However, no one told him that he needs to focus the telescope when he looks through it. Instead, the story shows only a tiny section of a number of objects like a cat, a crow, and his father. Timothy neglects to look at the water where sharks live. However, the author does show that at the very end.
The one thing that children can learn to look for is the dorsal fin of the shark. Teachers can show students that sharks live in the water. Dorsal fin is a part that most other fish do not display. Sharks and dolphins are the two mammals that have the dorsal fin. The last two pages of the book can work as a science lesson. Are ducks safe when sharks are near? Is the pond a place where sharks live? How big is a shark?
The story repeats the words up, down, right, left. As the teacher reads the story, have the children look in those directions. Students can play games that also use these directions. Follow the leader where the leader leads the others up a jungle gym, or down a flight of stairs, or to the left of the teacher’s desk, or to the right of the teacher’s desk.
The story uses many rhyming words like Pope and telescope, shark and park, boy and toy. This can lead to the children coming up with more words that they know that have the same kinds of sounds. What other words sound like boy and toy? Or shark and park?
The book has ways of sparking ideas in many different directions because of the subject matter. Students could roll up a piece of paper and make their own telescope. Then, use shape of the circle the same way Timothy did. Teachers can tell children that when they look through a telescope, other parts of the picture do not show unless the circle outlines the object in question. In art class, teachers can use this story to have children draw a picture and then cover it with another paper that has a single circle cut out of it. This is how Timothy saw things. Students can use the single hole to see as Timothy did.