26 Activities

26 Amazing Activities   -   For Teachers and Parents 

Tell Me-Tell Me More:  Amazing Animals A to Z provides unusual facts and illustrated details for young children to learn and enjoy. You can capitalize on children’s interest in amazing animals by continuing with educational activities that engage children in the learning process while expanding their reading, writing, and creative thinking skills. Select from any of the following 26 Amazing Activities to continue their interest in amazing animals! 

1. Engage Young Readers  

As you read Tell Me-Tell Me More:  Amazing Animals A to Z, select from the following strategies to engage students in the reading and learning process. 

  • Connect words with pictures.  As you read, pause to discuss the relationship between words and pictures.  How do ants carry their food? Where do bears sleep? Where do hummingbirds find nectar? Where are the iguana’s spikes? 

  • Ask questions about the content and the illustrations.  How do jellyfish move through water? What happens every year to a moose’s antlers? How does an octopus protect itself from prey? How do skunks protect themselves from enemies? What keeps woodpeckers from falling off tree trunks as they peck? 

  • Strengthen visual memory. Ask the child to describe details on pages without looking at the pages. Look up and to the left. Describe what you remember about the page. Then, ask specific questions: What did the elephant have in its trunk? What are the penguins on page 16 doing? Where is the baby kangaroo? 

  • Summarize and integrate information.  Ask questions that refer to commonalities among several animals. What animals can regrow tails or legs that get torn off or damaged? What animals eat dead animals? What birds cannot fly? 

What animals are used to carry or transport people or products? 

 

 2. Reinforce Phonics 

Each animal begins with a letter that represents the most common phonetic sound for that letter. For example, the word “ants” represents the short vowel sound of the letter “a.”  

Work with phonetic sounds: 

  • What is the sound of the first letter in these words?   Ants, Bear, Camel, etc.  

  • What other words begin with that same sound? Many answers are possible: Ants:  apple, alligator, animal   Bear: bananas, boat, box   Camel: car, cat, candy 

  • Brainstorm lists for each letter of the alphabet. On a large chart, ask children to state as many words as they can that begin with the sound of the letter being discussed. Encourage them to brainstorm to create a long list of words for each letter of the alphabet.  

  • As an option, brainstorm one letter a day. Work with children to create lists for a different letter each day.  

  

3. Create Flashcards on Index Cards  

  • Write one letter on each index card so you have 26 cards for the letters of the alphabet.  

  • Move through the cards giving a common sound for each letter.   

  • Sort the cards into two piles:  Know the Sound; Need to Learn the Sound. 

  • Continue this activity multiple times to help children learn basic phonetic sounds. 

 

4. Work with Various Levels of Reading Skills 

With young readers, we say they are “reading” when they can recognize and pronounce printed words. Watching young readers open books and read the words, phrases, or short stories is exciting! However, it is important to realize that reading involves more than reading the words on pages. Reading involves:  

  • decoding or “sounding out” words 

  • learning “sight words” 

  • understanding the meaning of new words  

  • understanding details in sentences 

  • expanding vocabulary 

  • reacting emotionally to words 

  • thinking about and being curious about new concepts 

  • comprehending a variety of printed materials 

  • recognizing relationships among concepts 

As you work with young readers, encourage them to go beyond “sounding out the words.” Use questions and discuss information that focus on the above reading skills. 

 

5. Promote the Love of Reading and Learning 

Provide children with a wide range of reading opportunities.  

  1. Read to children on a regular basis creates. Reading books together creates a bond between you and the child and the child and books. Consider regular bedtime stories at part of the evening routine. 

  1. Explore storybook groups at your local library or community center. If you cannot find a storybook group, consider starting one with other moms in your community or church. 

  1. Visit bookstores and libraries to expose children to the world of books.  

  1. Purchase books for children so they can create their own “in-home personal library.”  Children learn the value of books when they have a bookshelf filled with their own books. 

  1. Model lifelong learning and the love of books by reading on a regular basis.                                                                                       

 

6. Include Online Reading Experiences 

  • Embrace the opportunities available through online websites for children. There are excellent websites that teach or reinforce learning basic phonics and sight words. 

  • Google “children’s books” to locate websites that provide free storybooks to read. 

  • Select interesting children’s books to purchase online to build an online library. 

  • Encourage the use of technology for reading, not only for games, chats, and videos.  

 

7. Penmanship Challenge 

Instruct students to select any animal from Tell Me-Tell Me More.  

  • Then instruct students to select and copy one sentence from the page. Do not show the page or the sentence to other students.  

  • Stress neat printing or cursive writing.   

  • Students then take turns reading their sentence and asking other students to guess what animal is described in the sentence.  

  • The student may give other hints, such as the first letter of the name of the animal.  

  • If you wish to keep score, form teams. The team that identifies the most animals correctly wins the game. 

 

8. Strengthen Comprehension Skills 

  • If you choose to grade the students’ work, award points for the following: 

  • The question is answered and includes sufficient details.  

  • The answers are in complete sentences. 

  • Each sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period. 

  • All words are spelled correctly. 

 

9. Promote Creative Thinking 

Creative thinking is the ability to think about things in a new, fresh way that shows  originality and imagination. Instead of responding to questions with memorized answers, respond with clever, unique answers.  There are no “wrong answers.”  

  • Refer to the Table of Contents in the front of the Tell Me-Tell Me More storybook for a list of the creative thinking questions. 

  • Discuss a variety of answers for each question. 

  • Use the blank pages in the back of the book to record children’s creative answers! 

  

10. Create Mini-Books 

  • Use the creative thinking questions that appear on the bottom of each page of the Tell Me-Tell Me More Storybook. A list of the questions appears on the book’s Table of Contents. 

  • Staple together 28 pieces of paper to make a mini-book for each student.  One page will be for the front cover; one page for the back cover; the remaining pages are for the 26 creative thinking answers. (You may choose to use heavier paper, such as construction paper, for the front and the back covers.) 

  • Note: You can shorten this activity by selecting fewer creative thinking questions to answer and to illustrate. 

  • On the top of each page, write the creative thinking question.  

  • On the bottom of the page, students write their creative answers.   

  • Add illustrations in the middle of the pages.  

 

11. Create True-False Quizzes 

Assign each student to focus on a unique animal in the Tell Me-Tell Me More Storybook.  Each student should have a different amazing animal. Using the information on the page for that animal, instruct each student to create a true-false quiz for that animal.  

Provide students with the following guidelines: 

  • Write 5 true-false questions about your amazing animal. 

  • Begin each sentence with “I” so you represent the animal. 

  • Be sure that some of the sentences are true and some of the sentences are false. 

  • You can modify the details so you do not have to copy facts word-by-word. 

  • Show these examples for a newt: 

  1. I lay eggs under logs on sandy beaches. (False) 

  2. I move to live on land after I grow legs, lungs, and a tail. (True) 

  3. I begin life as a tadpole (False) 

  4. I cannot survive on land. (False) 

  5. I hatch from an egg. (True) 

Use the questions for one of the following activities: 

  1. Work with partners. Partners ask each other their questions and provide the correct answers. 

  2. Ask students to number their paper 1-20. Name the animal. Select questions to read out loud. Students write T (true) or F (false) for each question.  Correct their quizzes with the correct answers. 

  3. Create a “test” for students by selecting some of their quiz questions. Name the animal first and then give the question. Students answer each question with T or F. 

What is the value of this activity?  By constructing their own true-false questions, students become familiar with ways true and false statements are formed. Searching their memory or looking at the printed page for answers helps students understand that individual words, facts, or details determine whether a statement is true or false. 

 

12. Friendly Team Competition 

Divide students into groups of the desired size (3-5 works well). Use the true-false questions created by students in the previous activity. Use the following procedure: 

  • Collect all the true-false questions written by students. Check that the names of students who wrote the questions appear on the page of questions.  

  • Call on the first student in group 1. Ask student #1 the question.  Once the student answers, call on the student who wrote the question to tell if the answer is true or false. The student who wrote the question may add additional details. 

  • Continue by calling on individual teams and individual members of the teams.   

  • Keep score for each team.  After a given number of questions or a given time period, identify which team had the most correct answers. 

 

13. Internet or Library Research 

Instruct each student to select one of his/her favorite amazing animals from the Tell Me-Tell Me More storybook.  Use the Internet or the library to find two additional details about this animal that do not appear in the book.  Each student reports his/her findings to the class. You can extend this activity by: 

  • Having each student write the new facts on the chalkboard for everyone to copy. 

  • Having students “take notes” about the new information provided by each student for the different amazing animals. 

 

14. Group Brainstorming – Alphabetical Order 

For the following letters of the alphabet, there are many animals that begin each letter. 

In groups of 3-4 students, instruct each group to do the following: 

  • Brainstorm a list of as many animals as they can think of that begins with one of these letters: B, C, G, M, P, or S.  The list must have at least 10 animals. 

  • If they cannot come up with a list of at least 10 animals, they may use other resources to finish their list (Internet searches, dictionaries, or other people). 

  • Together, rewrite the list by putting the names of the animals in alphabetical order. 

 

15. Animal Sizes from Little to Big 

Click here for a list of additional amazing animals.  Select ten animals that are unfamiliar to you. Work individually, with a partner, or in a small group. 

  • Arrange your list of animals based on their size from smallest to largest. Label the smallest animal with “1” and the largest animal with a “10.” 

  • You may use any resources available to you to find out more about the size of unfamiliar animals.  (Internet, books, library, Google searches, or people) 

 

16. Put Me in a Box - Categorizing 

There are many ways to categorize things, including animals. For example, here is a starting list of categories: 

have 2 legs eat meat   eat insects  eat plants 

      live in water live on land live in trees live in hot weather live in cold weather live in groups lay eggs have feathers 

      have fur have long wings swim fast breath under water  

 

Learning activity individually, with a partner, or in small groups: 

 

      Required Materials:   4 or more blank index cards to label categories 

                                          A worksheet with 26 boxes with one animal per box 

                                          (Separate the boxes to have 26 cards naming animals) 

 

ants, bear, camel, dolphin, elephant, fox, gorilla, hummingbird, iguana, jellyfish, kangaroo, lion, moose, newt, octopus, penguin, quail 

raccoon, skunk, turtle, umbrellabird, vulture, woodpecker, x-ray tetra, yak, zebra 

       

  • There are many ways to categorize animals. I am going to name some categories. However, there are many other categories you can create.  Listen carefully because I am going to read these categories only two times. 

  • Your task is to organize the animal cards into categories so every card is in a category. You decide on the categories to use. Write the name of the category on an index card. Spread the index cards out on a surface or on the floor.  

  • You must have at least four categories. You can have more than four categories. You can add categories at any time. 

  • Every category that you use must have at least two animals in the category. 

  • Raise your hands when you succeed in putting every card in a category. 

 

17. Watch the YouTube Video: Funny Kids and Zoo Animals 

Go to YouTube. Search for the video called “Funny Kids and Zoo Animals.”  After watching this video, use the following questions to discuss the video with children: 

  • Which animal did you like the most? 

  • Which animal scared you? 

  • Search on YouTube for any additional videos for “Zoo Animals.”  

  • Discuss the following: 

  • Have you been to a zoo? If yes, what did you like and what did you not like? 

  • Name as many animals as you can that people might find in zoos. 

  • Draw a picture of yourself showing what you would see and do at a zoo.  

 

18. Create a Poster 

Click here for many more amazing animals a to z. Choose an animal that is unfamiliar to you. Use the Internet, google searches, the library, and any other resource materials to learn new information about the animal you selected. Then do the following: 

  • Create a colorful poster to show information about your new amazing animal. 

  • You decide on the size of your poster. You may use colored posterboard. 

  • You may include pictures, drawings, or any kinds of graphics.  

  • You may also use boxes with borders or different colors of paper with information printed neatly to show what you learned. 

  • Your poster may be in the form of a collage or any other type of poster. 

  • Information may include: 

Habitat Environment Kind of Home Kind of Family 

Food Enemies Behaviors Characteristics 

Appearance Lifespan Social Skills Sounds 

  

19.  Find YouTube Videos   

Have students individually, with a partner, or in a small group select one of the animals in the Tell Me-Tell Me More Storybook: 

ants bear camel dolphin elephant fox 

gorilla hummingbird iguana jellyfish kangaroo lion 

moose newt octopus penguin quail raccoon 

skunk turtle umbrella bird vulture woodpecker x-ray tetra 

yak zebra  

 

  • Go to YouTube. In the search box, type the name of the animal and the word “video.”  For example, type “bear video.”  You may also use voice activation by saying “YouTube. Find videos about penguins.” 

  • Watch the available videos. Select one that provides interesting information about the animal you selected.  

  • Write down the name of the video so you can find it again on YouTube. 

  • Be ready to talk about the video or write a short paragraph describing the video.  

  • Your verbal or written report can discuss: 

  • What does the video show? What is the animal doing?  

  • What did you learn about the animal?  

  • What do you like about the video?  

  • Why would others like to watch this video? 

 

 

20. Find YouTube Videos for Other Amazing Animals 

Name an amazing animal that is not in the Tell Me-Tell Me More Storybook.  

Click here for a list of other amazing animals or choose an animal that is not on this list.  

  • Work individually, with a partner, or in a small group. 

  • Go to YouTube. Search for a video about the animal selected. You may say or type, “Find videos about cheetahs” or “Find videos about “opossums.” 

  • After watching several videos, select one to share with others.  

  • Write down the name of the video so you can find it again on YouTube. 

  • Be ready to talk about the video or write a short paragraph describing the video.  

  • Prepare a verbal or written report to teach others about your amazing animal. Your report may include the following kinds of information: 

 

Habitat                  Location Found                Environment                         Food  

Kind of Home       Kind of Family                   Enemies                               Behaviors       

Characteristics      Appearance                      Size                                       Body Shape 

Senses                   Sounds                              Lifespan                                Social Skills 

 

21. Put Me in a Frame 

In the Tell Me- Tell Me More…A to Z Activity Book, instruct students to complete one or more of the following activity pages. Then, continue with the drawing activity that follows.   

  • On page 3, draw backgrounds for camels that live in deserts. 

  • On page 4, follow the steps to draw dolphins in water.  

  • On page 13, draw moose antlers with different “points.” 

  • On page 25, draw hair on yaks.  

  • On page 26, draw zebra stripes. 

Drawing Activity 

  • Select one animal in Tell Me- Tell Me More Storybook to draw and color.   

  • Decide on the background or details to add to your drawing. You do not need to include the same background or details that appear in the book. 

  • Use crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paint to draw your picture. 

  • Glue your picture on a piece of construction paper to create a frame for your work of art. 

 

22. Pantomime Fun 

Ask students to volunteer for this activity. 

  • Select one animal in the Tell Me- Tell Me More story book. 

  • Pantomime or act like the animal.  

  • Ask other students to guess what animal is “on stage.” 

  • Provide other clues if necessary. 

 

23. Amazing Mazes 

In Tell Me- Tell Me More…A to Z Activity Book, students can find their way through an Ant Maze (page 1) and a Skunk Squirt Maze (page 19). After completing these two mazes, do the following: 

  • Select a different animal in the Tell Me- Tell Me More Storybook. 

  • What kind of maze would this animal have to work its way through? What will be at the end of the maze?  What is your animal trying to reach? 

  • Create your own maze with a starting point and an ending point. Draw several different paths. On all but one path, put up a wall or a barrier so that route does not work to reach the end. Make copies of the mazes for other children to complete. You can place them under plastic to use multiple times with whiteboard pens. 

 

24. Create Your Own Amazing Animal Book 

Make your own Amazing Animals book. Choose at least 10 different animals.  To see a list of many different animals for the letters A to Z, click here.  You may use animals from this list or any other animals that you are not familiar to you. Then do the following: 

  • Decide on the page size you would like to use for your book. 

  • Decide how you want your pages to look, what design pattern or format to use.  

  • Conduct research using Internet resources, such as Google, books and library resources for your information. Develop each page with pictures, photocopies, drawings, or sketches. 

  • Add factual information for each animal.  

  • Create a cover for your book. Include a title for the book and your name. 

  • You may include a table of contents for your book. 

      Important: This is a big assignment that will take a considerable amount of time to 

   develop. Make a plan for managing your time. Create goals for the  

                           various steps of this assignment.  Ask for help if you need assistance. 

 

25. Promote Reading as Often as Possible 

As adults, we can promote the joy of reading in so many ways.  In addition to the ideas that have already been presented, following are a few more options to promote reading: 

  • Encourage children to read to other children. This provides practice and reinforces the joy of reading. 

  • Use Zoom, WhatsApp or any other online video chat for children to read to other family members (grandparents, uncles or aunts, brothers or sisters, or cousins). Children feel a great sense of pride by sharing their ability to read! 

 

26. ANSWER KEYS for SELECTED ACTIVITY BOOK WORKSHEETS 

Most of the exercises in Tell Me – Tell Me More A to Z Activity Book are self-explanatory or do not require answer keys. The following answer keys may be helpful to use as children work in the Activity Book: 

 

Gorilla Unscramble – page 7 

got good gum gate gold get  

game gas girl gift grapes grin 

 

Jellyfish Compound Words – page 10 

Answers may vary. 

bathroom sunshine  rainbow football hotcake  

airport barefoot homework babysit cowboy  

campfire watermelon tiptoe pancake 

 

Kangaroo Hop – page 11 

run hop kick jump walk 

 

Lion’s Mane – page 12 

mane - main see - sea there – their ant – aunt eight – ate not – knot 

new – knew mail – male meat – meet right – write won – one be – bee 

hear – here 

 

  1. won 2. aunt 3. meet 4. hear 5. right 

 

Octopus Boxes – page 15 

octopus on dog ox jog pop mom odd not  

frog box fog often hop stop hot off octopus 

The following words should not be circled because the “o” has a different sound: 

one only note old bone over open 

 

Penguin Crossword – page 16 

Across: 

  1. winter     3. black   5. feathers    7. white 9. dive     11. ice    12. snow 

Down: 

  1. belly 2. water 4. waddle 6. swim 8. feet 10. wings 

Turtle Talk – page 20 

Top:  lakes rivers ponds 

     logs swim  

     nose breathe 

     sand eggs 

     shell me  

Bottom:   1. Yes 2. Yes 3. No 4. Yes 5. Yes 6. No 7. No 8. Yes 

 

Woodpecker Word Scramble – page 23 

Birds: robin woodpecker parrot  penguin     pigeon duck  geese 

Parts of a Tree:    bark trunk branch leaves 

Woodpecker Food:  ants    beetles       insects       bugs      spiders   worms   seeds 

 

X-Ray Tetra X Words 

Top:   six   fox   box   fix   ax  tux  wax  tax 

Sentences: 

  1. fox 2. tax    3. box 4. wax       5. ax  6. six       7. fix      8. tux