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A Teacher's Guide

Animal Homes


Begin your study of Animal Homes by Angela Wilkes with a discussion with the children on what they know about homes. Questions can include the following:
  • What different kinds of homes do people live in?

  • What are some animal homes?

  • Why do animals build homes?

  • Where do they build their homes?

  • How are animal homes different from one another?

As the children give their answers, start creating a KWL chart to keep track of the many things they know and would like to know about animal homes. As the class reads the book, refer back to the KWL chart and add new things they learn.

Sample KWL Chart:
Animal Homes
What we know about animal homes
What we would like to learn about animal homes
What we learned about animal homes
Some animals live in trees.

How do birds build their nests?

The cape weaverbird builds a nest of grass and reeds.

    Language Arts:
    • Generates questions about topics of interest.
    • Uses a variety of sources to gather information.
    • Makes contributions in class and group discussions.
    • Relates new information to prior knowledge and experience.

Highlighted vocabulary words can be found at the bottom of the pages in the book. Below are additional words from the text that you should focus on:

shelter (page 6)
burrows (page 7)
freshwater (page 8)
silk (page 15)
saliva (page 18)
swarm (page 19)
nectar (page 31)
lodges (page 34)
gnaw (page 35)
attics (page 38)

Our suggestions on how to use these words effectively are found on page 2 of the guide.

    Language Arts/Readings:
    • Uses word reference materials to determine the meaning and pronunciation of unknown words.
    • Uses a variety of context clues to decode unknown words.


Many animals build their homes with things they find lying around. They might use twigs, feathers, candy wrappers, dried grass, and leaves.

Have your students create a multimedia picture of their house. They can start by drawing a picture of a house or you can supply them with a prepared picture to use as a template. The children can then finish the picture using yarn for the outline of the house, twigs and leaf pieces for trees, and grass clippings for the lawn. They might even put in some litter that blew onto the lawn, using pieces of a candy wrapper.

Materials you'll need are
  • yarn
  • small twigs
  • grass clippings
  • candy wrappers
  • leaves cut in small pieces
  • white glue

    Visual Arts:
    • Uses visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas.
    • Knows the different kinds of media, techniques, and processes that are used to create works of art.

Language Arts/Writing and Speaking

Who Am I and Where Do I Live?

Give each child an index card with the name of an animal on it. (The children should keep their animal a secret.) The children can research their animal's home in Animal Homes and other sources available in the classroom. Have each student write a description of the animal's home based on his or her research, without mentioning the name of the animal. Have the children read their descriptions aloud, and the class can play a guessing game: Who Am I and Where Do I Live?

For example: I live with a lot of my friends. We build a home made up of tiny cells. The outside of my home is made of layers of paper, which I make by chewing wood and mixing it with my saliva. Who am I and where do I live?

    Language Arts/Writing:
    • Uses a variety of sources to gather information.
    • Summarizes information in the child's own words.

    Language Arts/Communication Skills:
    • Organizes ideas for oral presentations.
    • Makes basic oral presentations to class.

Activity Sheet

Read the clues at the bottom and fill in the squares to complete the puzzle. All of the answers to the crossword puzzle can be found by reading Animal Homes by Angela Wilkes.

animal crossword puzzle

1. Roosts in trees, caves, and barns
4. Takes its house with it wherever it goes
8. A place where you can live
11. Makes a honeycombed home
12. Small amphibian resembling a salamander
14. Relative of a frog
16. Dig deep underground
17. Builds its home on platforms or chimneys  
19. Home built in the middle of a pond
3. Honeycombed home
5. Spins a home of silk
6. Hunts other animals for food
7. Home used to catch insects
9. Safe place to hatch eggs
10. Place where watery creatures live
13. Huge groups of animals
15. Polar bears live in the_______.
18. Baby fox

Answers to Animal Homes crossword puzzle

Solved Crossword Puzzle

    Language Arts/Readings:
    • Uses word reference materials to determine the meaning and pronunciation of unknown words.
    • Uses a variety of context clues to decode unknown words.
    • Understands the main idea and supporting details of simple expository information.

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