Teaching Life Science With Children’s Literature: Life-Size Killer Creatures


What is a killer? How do creatures locate and kill their prey? From ocean killers to mountain, forest, river, swamp, and night creature attacks, Life-Size Killer Creatures defines the animal food pyramid and how it is an important part for the survival of animals.  Written by Daniel Gilpin, Life-Size Killer Creatures brings the world of predators to life with full size pictures and ten foldout pages. The book also helps the reader to understand the type of food that each predator preys on and how each creature goes about doing so.   The illustrations help introduce and capture an excellent explanation of the cycle of life.

“Killer creatures are just one part of the natural world.  They could not survive without something to kill” (pg. 4 ).  Each creature in the book is grouped according to habitat.  For example, the killer whale is presented in full size as the top predator of ocean killers.  The book also goes on to define the great size and hunting style of animals found in the cold northern forests, high places of the world, creatures of swamps and lakes, as well as, tropical hunters .  Life-Size Killer Creatures contains some of the most fiercest and dangerous predators.  The reader will understand which animals are the predators and what creatures serve as prey.  The reader will learn how animals locate their prey and how the prey is slain.  Each creature includes individual definitions and a full size picture that allows the animals to come to life.

Curriculum Connections
Life-Size Killer Creatures helps children to see the actual size of animals in relation to their own size in a way that they can relate to and understand.  The book covers a variety of animals from all forms of life .  Throughout the book, children are able to view vibrant colors and life-like images.  Life-Size Killer Creatures may be used in a classroom setting to introduce a close up and personal view of various creatures into a lesson.  The book is perfect for a classroom setting because it captures the creature’s actual life size.

Life-Size Killer Creatures is a wonderful book that captures not only the attention of younger ages, but older ages as well.  Students are introduced to the animal food chain and are able to understand the role of both the predator and the prey.  They are also able to learn about the different type of environments in which animals live (VA SOL 3.5, 3.6)  The reading covers a general basis for a traditional life science lesson.

Additional Resources 

  • Life Size Creatures– This link includes a summary of Life-Size Killer Creatures and various activity books.  This site also includes additional and related life-size science books.
  • Killer Life – A link to a mini library containing puzzles, videos, and various resource books that can be used for classroom assignments.
  • Sea Life-This website expands on the marine animals shown in Life-Size Killer Creatures and contains short video clips that allows children to explore the deep blue sea.

Book: Killer Creatures

Author:  Daniel Gilpin

Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Publication Date: 2006

Pages: 48 pages

Grade Range: 3-6

ISBN: 9781402727016

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