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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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World Elephant Day is August 12th: Possible Interactive Notebook Activity

World Elephant Day is August 12th and April 16th is Save the Elephant Day.  Sadly, the Wildlife Conservation Society says that 96 elephants are killed EVERY day in Africa!

Did You Know?

1. Did you know that elephants can be right or left tusked, similar to how humans are with their hands? Which are you?__________________________
2. Elephants will quickly wave their ears, twirl their trunks and blowing dirt when they are ___________________.
3. The elephant has the largest brain of the animal world. They are very intelligent!
4. Elephants can show many emotions including joy, anger, playfulness and grief with the death of a family member
5. Surprisingly, peanuts are NOT a favorite food of elephants.
6. The world’s largest LAND mammal, elephants eat about 300-600 pounds of food every day. They are herbivores, non-meat eaters.
7. Elephants live in families with females being the head of the heard(called a matriarch). There can be as few as 8 or as many as 100 in a group.
8. Did you know the elephant can use its trunk as a “snorkel” making it possible to swim in deep water.
9. In the last 100 years, the number of  Asian elephants in the wild have declined by about 90%. What are TWO reasons for the declining numbers of elephants in the wild?_______________________  and ________________________________
10. Elephant throw dirt/mud onto their backs in the hot sun. Why do you think this is done?___________________________________
11. Did you know that ever 15 minutes a poacher kills an African elephant?
12. Of the two, Asia and African, there are much less Asia elephants left in the wild.
13. Elephants make a sub-sonic rumble sound to communicate over long distances. The feet and trunks are very sensitive and other elephants can feel the sound being sent over the ground.
14. The word, jumbo, comes from the circus animal by that name. It means “large” or “huge”.
15. Elephants walk on average about 4 mph but can actual run up to 24 miles per hour!
16. The skin of an elephant is about 1 inch thick. Look around and find something that is about 1 inch thick._______________________________
17. An elephant tusk can be as long as 10 ft. and weigh over 200 pounds.
18. Elephants are one of the few animals that can recognize itself in the mirror.
19. There are 40,000 muscles, but no bones in an elephant’s trunk.
20. Did you know that an elephant tooth can weigh up to 12 pounds?

Which three facts did you find the most interesting to learn about and why?_____________________. _____________________  ___________________________

Teacher Page:

Extension Activities to Use with Your Students:
  • Have students write a letter to a parent, grandparent, etc. to spread the word of the dwindling number of elephants. Include 3 facts about the elephant in the letter.
  • Draw a picture of an elephant. Write 3 facts about elephants on the picture.
  • Adopt an elephant project:
  • Write a poem about an elephant using all the letters in the word, elephant, or write a haiku.
  • Read a story about elephants, The Blind Men and the Elephant.  Discuss summary writing and have students write a summary of the story.
  • Write three facts from this site about elephants:

Links for teachers to share with students:

Children’s efforts to stop ivory and destroy stockpiles of Ivory in Hong Kong.  Read more!


  • If you see an elephant quickly move its ears, throw dirt and twirl  its trunk, it is angry!
  • Elephants are dwindling because of the destruction of their habitats and for their ivory tusks.
  • Elephants apply dirt/mud on their backs in the sun to prevent sunburn!

Check out my web quest on Elephants.

Free Interactive Notebook Download: World Elephant Day


*Photograph from