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Elephant Resources

Video Resources

Elephant - Disneynature - 1h 29min

Video
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Disneynature has released their annual Earth Day movie, this time it's about Elephants and features narration by Megan, The Duchess of Sussex. You can watch this movie along with it's companion documentary on Disney+. This is a great movie to use as an introduction to the species and it's role as a keystone species. This movie is accessible to all ages, but the narrative nature will really draw in elementary age children. At a running time of 1 hour and 29 minutes, it is a touch on the long side for younger students, but is engaging enough that most will be able to make it through in one sitting. I will caution that the entire "Circle of Life" is depicted so if you have very sensitive children you might want to preview the movie and prepare them.

 

Disneynature has provided both an Activity Packet and Educator's Guide for this movie. The Educator's Guide is packed full of great content for Grades 2-6, broken down into specific lessons for Grades 2 and 3, and other lessons for Grades 4 through 6. All lessons are aligned to U.S. Standards in ELA, Social Studies, Art, and Math.

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Books

Books
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Elephants by Katie Riggs

Grades: Preschool - K

Summary: A prekindergarten-level introduction to elephants, covering their growth process, behaviors, the lands they call home, and such defining physical features as their trunks

Review: This is a great series known for large photos and one sentence text. Important vocabulary words are highlighted and defined. Very engaging for the young learners and a good resource for ELL students as well. I love that additional resources are linked at the end of the book, both web sites and more advanced books.

Amazing Animals:  Elpephants by Kate Riggs

Grades: K - 2

Summary: A basic exploration of the appearance, behavior, and habitat of elephants, Earth's biggest land animals. Also included is a story from folklore explaining why elephants trunks are so long.

Review: This is a great book for emerging readers with large photos on one page and a couple of sentence of  simple text on the accompanying page. Domain specific words are highlighted in sentence and then defined on the bottom of the same page. Overall a very engaging resource for young learners and ELL students. Additional resources are linked at the end of the book, both web sites and more advanced books.

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The Most Endangered Elephants by Katie Marsico

Grades: 3 -5 

Summary: Find out why elephants are targeted by poachers and what is being done to keep these animals from disappearing for good. Though elephants are Earth's largest land animals, their size can't protect them from poachers. As a result of illegal hunting, these remarkable animals are disappearing from the wild. Readers will discover how elephants live and why it is so important to protect them.

Review: This book is currently out of print but I did find it in my local library. I have included a search link to find it in your library. Focused on the plight of the species, there is a nice section on their role as keystone species. The organization of the book is user friendly with a table of context, definitions of important words in the back, and questions for the students to thing about while reading.  

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Living Wild by Melissa Gish

Grades: 5-8

Summary: A look at elephants, including their habitats, physical characteristics such as their muscular trunks, behaviors, relationships with humans, and threatened status in the world today.

Review: This is an outstanding series of science books for middle school. Elephants combines beautiful photographs with scientific facts. An extensive chapter on the cultural context has been included. The text is organized in continuous paragraphs. This density of text could pose a challenge to some students. Overall a good elephant resource for advanced elementary and middle school students. 

Web Resources

 

Elephants | Disney Animals

This is the official Walt Disney World web site. At this site you can find general elephant information as well as specifics about the elephants at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

 

Keystone Species

A pdf of a magazine article. Best for older elementary and middle school students.

 

Essential Elephants

Kruger National Park website focusing on the Elephants as keystone species.

 

Four reasons why the environment needs elephants

 

Keystone Species Sampler: African Elephants

 

Videos

 

Elephants as Ecosystem Engineers

Dr Vicki Fishlock from The Amboseli Trust for Elephants explains some of the basic information about elephants role in changing their environments and affecting plant habitats. They are a charity reliant on donations from the global public.

 

Lesson Plans

Elephant Curriculum - Elephant Sanctuary

Extensive lesson plans for Grade 4-8

 

Elephant Toolkit - World Wild Life Fund

Student and educator resources for Grades 3-5.

 

LESSON PLAN – ELEPHANTS – THE NEED FOR THEIR SURVIVAL Level – Easier

A lesson for Grades 3-5. Printable resources are provided.

 

Extinction! Biodiversity Lab - Minecraft

A Minecraft Education lab for Ages 11-13 and 14-18. Explore the lab to learn core concepts of biodiversity then apply your knowledge to reveal the processes behind the five threatened species biomes.

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