Animals in Literature

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Oh, Theodore!

Oh, Theodore! Guinea Pig Poems is a collection of poems that tells a story about a boy and his new pet guinea pig. Students will notice some of the responsibilities involved in having a guinea pig as a pet, through figurative language and poetry. Learning about and recognizing the value of responsibility can empower students to make good choices for themselves and consider how their actions affect others, animals and the environment.

Why use this book?

  • Students can recognize the value of responsibility and how it can impact others, animals and the environment.

Ask your students:

  • How did these poems make you feel? Did you find any of the poems humorous? Scary? Sad?
  • What inferences can you make about Theodore’s feelings from the pictures and the words?
  • How does the boy feel when he realizes Theodore is missing? How do you think you would have felt? How do you think Theodore felt
  • What does the boy do to find Theodore? What would you have done?


  • Vocabulary Explosions – Make a list of descriptive words from the poems and write the vocabulary on the board. Have students select 3-5 words. Ask students to use dictionaries to find definitions that are appropriate for the context of the story. Then have students use a thesaurus to find synonyms for the words. Students can create “word explosions” with the synonyms to display in the classroom. Discuss the subtle differences of the synonyms with your students.

Oh, Theodore! is part of the AnimalTales program. Above, is a small selection of the discussion questions and activities that can be found in the Grade Four Teacher’s Guide. For additional discussion questions and activities request the FREE book-lending program for your class.

Additional Resources Related to Book:

  • Guinea Pig Care – Information for students on how to adequately care for guinea pigs including videos, fun facts, and a quiz from the New Zealand SPCA
  • Guinea Pigs as a Child’s Pet: Yeah or Nay? – The Calgary Humane Society has an informative article that addresses myths associated with caring for a guinea pig

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