Writing Activities: Year 3


Elephants are the world’s largest land mammals. Their distinctive long trunks have several uses, including picking things up, making trumpeting sounds as warnings and sucking up water to drink or wash with. Elephants also greet and reassure one another by ‘hugging’ each other’s trunks. Baby elephants (known as calves) are cared for by the entire family, which is called a herd. Female elephants sometimes stay with their mother’s herd for their whole lives. However, male elephants leave the herd at about age 14 and go to live by themselves or in small groups of males.

In this clip a newborn baby elephant has to negotiate some tricky terrain but eventually succeeds with some help from the rest of the herd.


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Credit: BBC Two – Natural World

Literacy idea

What do you think the baby elephant and the adult elephants in this clip are thinking? Imagine they can use human language and write a conversation between the baby elephant and its mother or grandmother. Think about the following questions:

  • What is happening to the baby elephant?
  • What is the baby elephant thinking?
  • What are the adult elephants thinking?
  • How might the baby elephant feel at the end of the clip?

Wider Curriculum idea

Create a dance based on the movements that the baby elephant made when it was slipping on the mud and when it was stuck. Teach your dance to someone at home and perform it together!