World Elephant Day – 12 August, 2015

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August 12 is World Elephant Day, so here are some activities about elephants.

Speaking Activity

Put students in small groups. Assign one of them the role of a note-taker.

Then give students a few minutes to answer the question, “What’s the best part of an elephant?” or “What’s the most lovable thing about an elephant?” They should say why, too.

The note-take will report to the class their group’s answers. You can have a class survey to find out the best part of an elephant.

Listening Activity

Then students listen to the audio to see how three people answer this question. Five words are missing (but you can add more gaps if you like).

Interviewer: So I would like to ask you what do you think is the most interesting part of an elephant?

Woman 1: (laughter) Well, I (1) ___________ a lot of people would say the trunk, but I’m going to be a litte bit different, and I think the toenail, (2) _______ elephants have, well obviously very large feet, but large toenails as well.

Man 1: Ha. I’m gonna (3) _________ a little… Well of course their ears because their ears are hugely flappy, and I would love to be able to walk down the street with those kind of ears. But I’m going to cheat and say their heart. Because they really love each other and they can even (4) __________ when someone in the group or family dies.

Woman 2: Eyelashes.

Interviewer: Eyelashes? Elephants have eyelashes?

Woman 2: Yes, (5) ____________ not as beautiful as a giraffe’s but they’re still beautiful.

Key: 1 – imagine, 2 – ‘cuz (short for because), 3 – cheat, 4 – grieve, 5 – They’re

Elephant Skim, Scan & Run

For this follow-up activity, you will need to find several articles about elephants. Just one copy of each. Put them on the walls at various points in the room.

Students will be in groups. Each group should have one piece of paper where they will write answers to questions that the teacher has written on the board. Students are not allowed to carry the paper with them. It should remain on a desk. Students run around the class seeking answers from the texts on the walls, then return to their groups and write the answers down.

The questions you write on the board should come from your articles. They may be like these:

Where do elephants live?
How many elephants are there?
How long do elephants live?
How much do elephants weigh?
What and how much do elephants eat?
How many elephants have been killed by poachers this year?
How can we help elephants?

That’s Skim, Scan, and Run!

The Little Elephant Song

For young learners, you’ll find 19 free downloadable audio chants from Carolyn Graham at the website of the U.S.  Embassy in South Africa, including “The Little Elephant Song.”

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