Teaching Life Science with Children’s Literature: Animals in the Wild


Animals in the Wild written by Joanne Ryder and illustrated by Lisa Bonforte is a story about the animals living in the wild, and how they survive the four seasons. The story starts by explaining where all the animals are during the cold winter days. Some animals spend their winter sleeping, and not waking up til Spring. Other animals live underground but come up to find nuts, and seeds they had hidden in the fall. The birds have gone south for warmer weather, and will return in the Spring. Once the days grow longer and warmer the animals of the wild start to wake up and come out of their homes. All the animals stay busy finding food for their babies, and building new homes. There are great pictures to show you where the animals are living, and what their homes look like. Once summer rolls around all the animals go to the ponds or streams to get their water. The story does a great job explaining what each animals eats and how they survive the four seasons.

Curriculum Connections

Animals in the Wild is a great book when introducing Life Science to younger students. The story follows the pattern of the seasons, and explains how animals survive. I would use this book in the younger grades of elementary, and read it aloud to the class. The pictures are great for the students to look at, and the story is exciting. After reading this book the students will have a better understanding of the basic needs of animals. They will understand that animals need to hibernate during the winter, or fly to warmer weather. The students will have a better understanding on how animals hunt for food and hide from their prey. (VA SOL LS 4.b) Overall, I would suggest this book to any classroom because the pictures are great and the children will have a better understanding on how animals survive in the wild.

Additional Resources

WILD about Educators After taking the Project WILD workshop, I learned a lot of the resources they offer for educators. At this website you will find plenty of helpful information and different activities you can bring into your classroom.

Growing up WILD This link from project WILD is focused on young children. It allows our younger children the chance to interact with nature and build on their sense of wonder.

How do animals spend their winter? Here you will find information for teachers and students. There are activities, and also a kid friendly “I Can Read” section that breaks down the information so younger students can understand.

Book: Animals in the Wild
Author: Joanne Ryder
Illustrator: Lisa Bonforte
Publisher: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication Date: 1987
Pages: 23
Grade Range: K-4
ISBN: 0-307-68271-4

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