Writing Activities: Year 5


Chimpanzees can be found across central and west Africa. These great apes share 98.7 percent of our genetic blueprint – this means that, along with bonobos, they are our closest living relatives. Chimpanzees are highly social beings, living in communities of several dozen animals. These communities are led by an alpha male. Although they normally walk on all fours, chimpanzees can stand and walk upright.

In this clip, we will see a male chimpanzee throwing rocks to show off his strength and intimidate others.


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Credit: BBC One – Dynasties

Literacy Idea

Imagine you are a chimpanzee who would like to become the leader of the group. However, you don’t want to use fear or intimidation as a means of getting there.

Write a letter to the other chimps in your group, explaining why you think you would make a good leader.

You should…

  • Address the other chimpanzees – Dear Chimpanzee friends,
  • Explain why you are writing to them – I am writing to you today to…
  • Give reasons why you would make a good leader, and why you don’t think using techniques such as throwing rocks is the best way to show off your leadership skills
  • Sign off your letter – Kind regards, _______

Wider Curriculum Idea

After reading your letter, the other chimpanzees agree that leaders should be democratically voted into power. Create a poster to persuade chimpanzees to vote for you in the upcoming Chimpanzee Leadership Election.