Animals in Literature

Descriptions Grade Five

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

How Smudge Came

Nan Gregory

How Smudge Came tells the story of a woman who finds a stray dog that she takes to her group home. Not being allowed dogs in her home, Cindy must keep Smudge a secret which means taking him with her to a hospice where she works as a cleaner. A bond between Cindy and Smudge quickly forms, but when her secret is revealed, Smudge is quickly whisked away to a SPCA. Devastated, Cindy tries to get Smudge back, only to discover he has already been adopted. Students have the opportunity to take the perspective of Cindy and relate to her feelings.  Even though there are many differences among people, there are still many similarities that we share, including for many, a love of animals.

Students will:

  • describe the qualities of a responsible pet owner
  • discuss appropriate living situations for a pet
  • research different ways that animals can help people

Always Blue for Chicu

Karen Dugan

Always Blue of Chicu tells the story of a wild parrot that is captured by smugglers and is taken to sea by a kind sailor. When the sailor has to return to his ship, he must give Chicu up. Chicu’s life is then spent with a variety of owners who do not know much about providing adequate care for parrots. Students will learn the complex needs of a parrot and the importance of doing research to be prepared as possible before getting a pet. Making an effort to plan ahead and prepare by doing research skill that students can apply to many aspects of their life.

Students will:

  • identify reasons why prospective pet owners should research the needs of a pet
  • determine the benefits and challenges of owning a pet
  • compare the needs of different pets
  • discuss animals in captivity

One Duck

Hazel Hutchins

One Duck tells a story of how small acts of kindness can make difference. When a farmer starts to plow his field, a duck, who built a nest in the field, sits calmly on top of her eggs, watching the tractor. As the tractor gets closer to the duck, threatening her and her nest, the duck must decide what to do. Will the farmer see the duck before it is too late? This story demonstrates the interconnectedness of animals, people, and the environment, and how our actions can impact others. Students will also discover that the best intentions do not always lead to good outcomes.

Students will:

  • discuss the importance of respect for living things;
  • demonstrate empathy for animals
  • demonstrate respect for the environment; 
  • describe a duck’s feelings and emotions
  • relate how animals think and feel to how people think and feel

The Girl and the Wolf

Katherena Vermette

The Girl and the Wolf  tells the story of a girl who wanders away from her mother while picking berries in the woods. When she realizes that she went too far and cannot find her mother, she begins to panic until a calm, wolf appears. Through a series of questions from the wolf, the girl realizes that she has the knowledge and skill to find her way to her mother. When the girl ultimately finds her way back, the wolf disappears. Students may identify with the situation the girl found herself in, needing to solve a problem all on their own. Remembering to draw upon knowledge and past experiences in challenging situations can help students to find solutions.

Students will:

  • identify examples of animals that have cultural significance
  • research cultural symbolism of animals
  • recognize appropriate human interactions with wildlife
  • identify examples of negative stereotypes

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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