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Did you know that more than a third of babies’ first words are names of animals? The wild kingdom seems to fascinate us almost from birth with its diversity, harmony, and entertainment value. Is it any wonder that so many children’s books feature one or more animals and that plush animal sales figures are consistently above a billion dollars per year in the U.S.?

Using Animals to Enhance Your Curriculum

Clever homeschooling parents know that they can use their student’s fascination with animals to the advantage of their education, too. Do you regularly incorporate animal-themed activities into your homeschool curriculum? Being around, and even teaching about, animals has benefits for your child such as:

  • increasing empathy and compassion
  • helping them make comparisons between animal and human behavior
  • improving their observational powers
  • creating ecological awareness

Building Writing Skills with Animals

Because the connection between animals and children is such a strong one, almost any educational subject can be enhanced by linking it with the study of wild creatures — including writing.  To that end, you can motivate your elementary-level writer with these wild animal writing prompt ideas. Each one has been carefully designed to help beginning writers build specific skills in grammar, sentence writing, and paragraph construction.

Then, for even more creature captivation, why not sign up for one of Time4Writing’s two Wild Animal Tales writing courses — Narrative Writing and Informative Writing? Keep the animal excitement going while your student explores the five-step process of writing — prewriting, planning, drafting, revising, and editing.

Writing Prompts About Animals

  • Create the title of a brand new movie about your favorite animal. Make sure you know the proper capitalization rules for each of the words in the title.
  • How do you feel about wild animals such as rodents and apes being used to to aid medical research for humans? Write an opinion paragraph about your thoughts. Don’t forget to include supporting details that backup your opinion.
  • Imagine you could be a wild animal of your choice for the day. Write a declarative sentence about the animal you would choose and why you would choose that particular one.
  • Do you know the four types of sentences? Write either an interrogative, declarative, imperative, or exclamatory sentence that includes the word “beast” in it. Make sure to use the correct punctuation for the type of sentence you choose to write.
  • Imagine you are a zookeeper. Write a paragraph about what a typical day in your life might be like.  Check to make sure you’ve got correct subject-verb agreement in each of your sentences.
  • If you could take a homeschool field trip to visit any animal in the world, what animal would you choose? Write a sentence that explains your choice.
  • Come up with five adjectives that could describe a river otter. Choose one, and use it in a complete sentence.
  • Think of two completely different animals such as a lion and a mouse. Write a paragraph that compares and contrasts the features and/or behavior of the two creatures.
  • Pretend that you are an animal whose habitat is in danger of being destroyed. Write a paragraph from the perspective of that animal that tries to persuade humans to do a better job of conserving native habitats.
  • Without writing the whole essay, think about how you would conclude an essay on the subject of why people should volunteer at animal shelters. Then, write only the concluding sentence for that essay.
  • You just found a baby bird alone and unable to fly in your front yard. Write a paragraph that lays out the three steps of what you think you should do in that situation.
  • Can you paint a word picture using descriptive imagery? Practice your technique by writing about what a bat might experience while hanging upside down in a cave. Don’t forget to include sensory words that describe what the bat hears, sees, smells, or feels.
  • Research four facts about why animals become endangered. Write them in order of least important to most important.

 

These writing prompts can be included in any animal-themed unit study or used simply as stand-alone activities to boost your homeschool writing curriculum. By tying writing practice to something elementary students are enthusiastic about — wild animals — you have the opportunity to motivate even the most reluctant writer into practicing foundational skills.

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