Writing Activities: Year 1

River otter

There are thirteen species of otter and all of them spend lots of time in the water. In fact, the word ‘otter’ is related to the word ‘water’, reflecting the animal’s favourite place to be. A group of otters is sometimes called a ‘romp’, referring to their playful character, although when they are in the water a group of otters is called a ‘raft’. Young otters stay in the family’s den (called a ‘holt’) until they are one month old, and learn to swim at about two months.

In this clip we see how a group of orphaned otter pups are helped to learn to swim by their human carers.


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Credit: BBC Two – Natural World

Literacy idea

Imagine you are one of the otter cubs in the clip. You have just had your first swimming lesson and you are now warm and dry. Write at least three sentences describing your swimming lesson. Remember to use adjectives (describing words) to describe:

  • how you felt before the lesson;
  • what the water was like;
  • how it felt to swim through the water;
  • how you felt afterwards.

Wider curriculum idea

Make a list of other animals that can swim. What is similar about the animals you have thought of? What differences are there between the animals?