Animals in Literature

Descriptions Grade Six

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

New books, activities and resources will be added for the 2021-2022 school year.

One Duck

Hazel Hutchins

A duck nests in a field and one day a farmer, who doesn’t know about her, decides it’s time to turn the soil.  Seeing the duck, the farmer stops his tractor and moves the nest. The following day, the duck is seen leading her newly hatched ducklings to a pond. This poetically written story illustrates how, with a little care, human interests and those of nature can co-exist.

Reading Activities Include:

  • Discussing the importance of respect for all living things
  • Writing stories that show empathy towards animals using imagery and literary techniques
  • Investigating how to protect ducks and other wetland species

How Smudge Came

Nan Gregory

When Cindy, a young woman with Down syndrome, finds a puppy amid the garbage, she knows that’s no place for a puppy. She brings him home and takes her to the hospice where she works. But when told she can’t keep a dog, Smudge ends up at an SPCA animal shelter – though, not for long. This book raises many discussion points about the responsibilities of pet ownership and attitudes toward people with disabilities.

Reading Activities Include:

  • Composing  similies based on the story
  • discussing importance of compassion for all people include those with special needs
  • Researching assistance animals & the different way they help us


Andrew Clements

When a homeless dog shows up at the back door, a family takes him in, feeds and bathes him, and names him. Written entirely in haiku, the pet experience is a clever, fun introduction to the poetic form and an engaging lead-in to a class writing exercise.

Reading Activities Include:

  • Researching the cost of owning a dog
  • Creating haiku expressing facts, feeling and emotions about animals, animal issues and the human-animal bond
  • Discussing responsible pet ownership

Always Blue for Chicu

Karen Dugan

Always Blue for Chicu recounts thirty years of an Amazon parrot’s adventures. Over many long years, Chicu is handed off from one owner to another until he finally ends up at a parrot sanctuary. Chicu’s story opens a window into the life of exotic birds whose very beauty leads to their imprisonment, birds whose unique qualities call out for understanding and care.

Reading Activities Include:

  • Identifying the unique needs of pet parrots
  • Discussing the use of imagery in the book
  • Using imagery in own writing

Also included in Grade Six 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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