Elephants and Their Young

Science and Math Activities for Young Children

Grades Preschool—1

Written by Jean C. Echols, Jaine Kopp, and
Ellen Blinderman, with Kimi Hosoume

Elephants loom large in children's imaginations
and for good reason! This fascination makes the educational experiences in this book especially exciting. Children actively learn about the African elephant's body structure, family life, and social behavior.

In a series of lively activities, children make model elephants out of paper and cardboard, then devise elephant puppets with sock-trunks. They create models of elephant's ears, trunks, and tusks; make elephant sounds; and sing the "Elephant Song." As they role-play, using their "trunks," foraging for food, and searching for water, the children gain insight into how elephants live in the wild. They are also introduced to the concept of conservation and encouraged to think about commercial alternatives to ivory.

Mathematics is strongly integrated throughout the "main trunk" of this unit, as the children compare themselves to baby elephants in body size, foot size, and weight. Students absorb basic physical-science concepts as they weigh objects and explore several water-related activities. These activities are an excellent way to introduce science and math concepts to young children, building a strong foundation for future learning.

This book is filled with posters and reproducible graphics, and, like all GEMS guides, includes connections to pertinent children's literature and selected resources for students and teachers.

This guide was developed by the
PEACHES program, a curriculum development and training program for teachers and parents of children in preschool through first grade. Other GEMS/PEACHES guides include Ladybugs, Tree Homes, Eggs Eggs Everywhere, Penguins and Their Young, Mother Opossum and Her Babies, and Ant Homes Under the Ground.

Praise for Elephants and Their Young:

"This book is a great way to incorporate mathematics and language arts while teaching science concepts of life cycles or communities. The book includes extensive background information about elephants that can be shared with the children, songs and games, suggestions for assessment, additional resources (including websites), and a list of childrenís books about elephants. This is a book that a teacher can use for many days and still find more to do."

–National Science Teachers Association Recommends

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ISBN: Grade Level Format Price



4 Activities,
100 Pages


Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2004 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated February 05, 2021