Dictionary Skills: hippopotamus

1 - Learning Objective

Learning Objective

We are learning how to use the first two or three letters of a word to check its meaning and spelling in a dictionary.

Context: hippopotamus


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Credit: BBC One - Cities: Nature's New Wild

Clip Description

Nicknamed the river horse by the ancient Greeks, a hippopotamus will spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in a river or a lake. It does so to keep its massive body cool under the hot African sun. At sunset, hippos leave the water to graze. On average, a hippo can consume up to 30 kilograms of grass in a single evening, and they will happily travel up to 10 kilometres to find it.

In this fascinating clip, under the cloak of the darkness, a group of hippos can be seen venturing into a quiet residential area of a South African town. What do you think has brought the unlikely night-time visitors to the town? Watch the clip to find out.

Discuss the meaning of each word highlighted in bold.

Word Challenge

Imagine that you are a resident of St. Lucia. You are awoken in the night by the sound of munching. Can you list some words that describe your emotions as you peer out of your bedroom window and see grazing hippos below?

e.g. startled, fascinated, anxious, …