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Gail S Hennessey's picture
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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April 16th: Save the Elephant Day!

1. Did you know that elephants can be right or left tusked, similar to how humans are with their hands?
2. Quickly waving of ears, twirling of its trunk and blowing dirt are signs of an angry elephant!
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%  due to habitat destruction and  killing for their  ivory tusks.
10. Elephant throw dirt onto their backs to prevent getting sunburned.
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.
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 truck.
20. Did you know that an elephant tooth can weigh up to 12 pounds? 
Extension Activities to Use with Your Students:
1. 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.
2. Draw a picture of an elephant. Write 3 facts about elephants on the picture.
4. Write a poem about an elephant using all the letters in the word, elephant, or write a haiku.
5. Read a story about elephants:  The Blind Men and the Elephant.
I also have web quests on the Rhino, Polar Bear and the Leopard.




*Photograph from