Animals in Literature

Descriptions Grade Six

The following books are included in the Grade Six 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

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

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship tells the inspiring true story about a girl, named Jessica, whose life has not turned out how she thought it would. Jessica, who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, relies on Rescue, her service dog, to help her accomplish everyday tasks. Based on a real-life partnership, this heartwarming story of the special bond between people and animals, especially those who need assistance, is heartwarming and inspirational. Students will develop an appreciation for the different roles animals can play in our lives and discover how special and important the special bond between people and animals can be. This story could serve as a great introduction to both service animals (along with emotional support animals) and people with different abilities.

Students will:

  • identify different roles of animals
  • demonstrate the understanding of appropriate interactions with service animals in public
  • recognize the differences and similarities between pets and service animals

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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