Animals in Literature

Description Grade One

The following books are included in the Grade One AnimalTales package.

Max Talks to Me

Claire Buchwald

Max Talks to Me tells the story of a boy and how he communicates with his dog, Max and the special bond that they have. Even though Max cannot speak in words, the reader discovers that when the boy watches and listens to Max, that he does ‘talk’ to the boy, through his behaviour and body language. Learning how others, including both animals and people, feel by reading body language and social cues is an important communication skill.

Students will:

  • identify how animals communicate their feelings through behavior and body language
  • compare how people and animals use body language to communicate
  • describe the responsibilities of being a pet owner


Charlotte Voake

Ginger  tells the story of a cat whose owner gets a new kitten. Ginger is upset with the new addition to the family as familiar routines get disrupted. How will Ginger manage this new change? Students can relate to the experiences of Ginger and the kitten – both being the ‘new’ person and having someone new come into their family or community. Learning how to take the perspective of others, being welcoming to others and troubleshooting issues if they arise are skills that students can utilize both in the classroom and outside of school.

Students will:

  • identify how animals communicate their feelings through behaviour and body language
  • discuss the natural behaviours of cats
  • relate how animals think and feel to how people think and feel (empathy)

Hey Little Ant

Phillip and Hannah Hoose

Hey Little Ant tells the story of a boy deciding whether to step on, or spare the life of an ant he and his friends find in the school yard. With his friends pressuring him to step on the ant, the boy faces a dilemma on what to do as the ant attempts to convince the boy that people and ants are not as different as one might think. Drawing on your students’ experiences with peer pressure and bullying, they can relate to both the boy and the ant, and think critically about what they would do if they were in the same situation.

Students will:

  • discuss the importance of respect for living things
  • relate the treatment of animals to how people like to be treated
  • compare the needs of animals to the needs of people
  • identify small acts of kindness and explain why they are important for communities and the environment
  • identify unkind actions and how they make people/animals feel

Zoe and the Fawn

Catherine Jameson

Zoe and the Fawn tells the story of a young girl searching for the mother of a fawn who is all alone. While searching for the mother, Zoe encounters a number of different wild animals on her journey to help the fawn. Throughout the story, the author incorporates the syilx (Okanagan) animal names in parenthesis. Like many Indigenous communities, the Syilx People of the Okanagan Nation experienced a severe loss of their language when settlers came to Canada. Students will have an opportunity to explore how language is important in expressing ourselves, is part of our culture and our connection to family and community. Developing an appreciation for wild animals (and animals in general) and how to safely and respectfully observe them, is something students can take away from this book.

Students will:

  • list the basic needs of animals
  • compare the needs of domestic animals to the needs of wildlife
  • identify appropriate humane interactions with wildlife
  • research physical characteristics of animals

Also included in Grade One AnimalTales

  • Teacher’s Guide (including curriculum connections)
  • Hands-on activity cards
  • Smartboard activities, activity sheets, and videos (online resources)

AnimalTales Request Form

Note: We will attempt to provide the program as close to this time as possible. You will receive an email confirmation verifying the availability of the program.

NOTE: Teachers can request one package for one time period. Multiple packages can not be sent to one teacher at the same time.

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