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Adapted from fitness curriculum available FREE OF CHARGE at

Students will:

Learning Objectives

= Listen carefully and associate nonsense words with a task = Understand how circus animals are trained = Understand multiple-step directions in the context of a game

1. Use listening and speaking strategies for different purposes 2. Listen for a variety of reasons (e.g., to perform a task) 3. Follow one- and two-step directions 4. Give and respond to oral directions 5. Use a variety of nonverbal communication skills 6. Know specific ways in which language is used in real-life situations 7. Use reading skills to understand informational text 8. Follow written, multiple-step directions

SOURCE: The Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) Language Arts Standards


= Pretzels, peanuts, raisins or other small reward treats = Elephant Memory Game handout (1 for 2 students)

Materials Needed

The expression "an elephant never forgets" has often been used to describe the intelligence of an elephant. The truth is that elephants do have an excellent memory. They are able to remember more than 60 commands! Elephants have also been known to recognize human and animal friends after years of separation. For more information about elephants visit the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation® Web site

Teacher Notes

©2005 Feld Entertainment

An Elephant Never Forgets Lesson Page 1 of 1


1. Tell your students that they are going to pretend to be circus elephants and you, as their trainer, will teach them some new commands. 2. Have students stand next to their desks or in an open area. 3. Demonstrate each of the following made-up commands and the corresponding action: = zippo ­ stand on your toes = flingbing ­ lift both arms over your head = ickle ­ touch nose with right hand = noonah ­ kneel = heechee ­ jump up 4. Practice each command with the entire class. Reward students with lots of praise and then some raisins, pretzels, peanuts or some other treat when they remember and perform the correct action. Explain to students that animal trainers use praise and treats to teach their animals new things. 5. Challenge individual students to respond to individual commands. Remember to offer lots of rewards and praise! Have the entire class applaud when a student performs the correct action with the correct command. Explain that like people, elephants appreciate praise and like to hear applause. 6. Distribute the Elephant Memory Game handout, one handout for every two students. Have students follow the directions to make and play the Elephant Memory Game.

Activity Directions

1. Have students make up their own verbal cues. How many word cues and movements can they remember? 2. In small groups, use the Internet to research one of the following topics: animal training, endangered species, Asian elephants. 3. To have a "memory like an elephant" is an example of figurative language (simile). Have students think of idioms or similes that use animals as a comparison. (Examples, "slow as a turtle," "quick as a bunny," "strong as an ox," "lovable as a puppy," etc.)


©2005 Feld Entertainment

An Elephant Never Forgets Lesson Page 1 of 1

Elephant Memory Game

Instructions 1. Glue this handout onto a sheet of construction paper. 2. Cut apart the Elephant Memory Game cards. Color the cards. 3. Make up verbal cues and actions for the blank cards. 4. Lay the cards in rows, face down.

For ex t do the ra fun, every action tim get a m e you atch!

5. One at a time, each player turns over two cards, attempting to match the verbal cue with the card that pictures the action. If not a match, return the cards face down in the rows. 6. Players take turns until all of the pairs of cards have been matched and collected. The player with the most matched pairs wins.

= zippo ­ stand on your toes = flingbing ­ lift both arms over your head = ickle ­ touch nose with right hand = noonah ­ kneel = heechee ­ jump up

©2005 Feld Entertainment

An Elephant Never Forgets Handout Page 1 of 2



touch nose with right hand


©2005 Feld Entertainment

Make your own match


lift both arms over your head


jump up


stand on your toes

An Elephant Never Forgets Handout Page 2 of 2

Make your own match


4 pages

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