Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Elephants of Africa

Gibbons, Gail (Author/Illustrator)
Holiday House 2010. 32 pages
First published: 2008
ISBN: 9780823422999 (paperback)
9780823421688 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 599.67
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

figurative language, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

The African elephant is the largest living land animal, and this picture book offers a basic introduction to this majestic creature.

Told in a narrative style, text interwoven with the illustrations explains the elephants in greater detail. Readers will learn about the elephant’s habit, diet, stages of growth and behaviour, as well as their unique characteristics: their prodigious weight, their large ears and the multiple functions of their trunk and tusks. The author uses vocabulary specific to describing elephants such as the term “cub” for baby.

Pen-and-ink and watercolour drawings emphasize the dry greens and yellows of the African savannah. They depict how elephants make their lives in this environment, travelling together in herds, finding food and water, and dealing with the heat.

At the end, the author explains the human threat to elephants, especially by poachers who want their ivory tusks, and how reserves have been created to protect them. The last page provides a list of facts about elephants for quick reference.

  •  

    Start a KWL chart about elephants, using sticky notes to record your ideas. Add to, reflect on and revise your chart as you read.

  •  The elephant has many special physical features that help it survive and thrive in its environment. List and explain three of these adaptations.
  •  Notice the use of captions, subtitles, titles and labels that accompany the illustrations. Incorporate some of these features into your own illustration of an elephant.
  •  Write an acrostic poem about elephants, incorporating facts from the text.
  •  

    With a partner, create a mind map of what you already know about elephants. As the book is read aloud, add new information.

  •  

    Compare the facts and figures about elephants with those of the human body. For example, while there are two fingers at the end of an elephant’s trunk, there are five fingers at the end of a human hand.

  •  

    Using teacher-selected resources, find and explain idiomatic expressions about elephants. How are these expressions similar to or different from the ones in French? Are they in line with the animal’s real life? Can you find evidence in the book?

  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology