Kids Read Curious World

The world is big, and you are curious about it!  

Browse fun activities, reading lists, videos and more here. We are looking at those great, gentle creatures ELEPHANTS! 

Kids Read Elephants



Read This!

Kids Read Curious Detective: Elephants!

If you want to learn more about real life elephants and what they eat, where they live, what they like to do - this list is for you!


Curious Detective Elephants

Kids Read Connector: Elephants!

Get connected with Connector books that feature elephants as characters! These elephants have feelings, thoughts, and get into scrapes, just like humans do!


Connector Elephants

Kids Read Magic, Dragons, and Swords: Elephants!

This list of books is perfect for the kid that loves to read about “times of olde,” fantasy, and adventure beyond our world, but also wants a few elephants sprinkled in amongst the magic.


Magic Dragons Elephants

Kids Read Class Clown: Elephants!

What's funny about elephants? Find out with these books designed to make you laugh!


Class Clown Elephants

Kids Read Adventure Time: Elephants!

Elephants are the perfect adventure companions!


Adventure Elephants

Kids Read Serial Reader: Elephants!

If you enjoy learning more about characters and how they change over time then you will enjoy these engaging serial reads. This list of books are from series but feature elephants in some way.


Serial reader elephants

The Real Elephants of Tulsa, OK

Meet the Tulsa Zoo Elephants!

The Elephant Experience at the Tulsa Zoo!

Did you know that there are real live elephants in Tulsa? It's true! They live at the TULSA ZOO (https://tulsazoo.org/) at 6421 E 36th St N.

They have room to roam, food to eat, and are cared for by elephant specialists, but GREAT NEWS: they are getting an even better place to live!

In June of 2022, the Tulsa Zoo started work on the Oxley Family Elephant Experience, which should be done in 2024. Lots of cool new spaces for them to run and play in, and there will even be a special deck above the elephants so you can get an up-close view of them!

Learn more about this at https://tulsazoo.org/groundbreaking/

In the meantime, meet the 3 Asian elephants at the Tulsa Zoo:


Sneezy has been at the Tulsa Zoo since 1977.

Sneezy elephant

Photo credit: David McDaniel/The Oklahoman


Sooky moved to the Tulsa Zoo from Memphis in 1997.

Sooky elephant

Photo credit: Tulsa World


Booper is the newest elephant in Tulsa, coming to us in 2020!

Booper elephant

Photo credit: Mike Simons/Tulsa World

Find more on the Tulsa Zoo's Twitter and Facebook!

You'll find great updates about Tulsa's elephants on the Tulsa Zoo Facebook page and Twitter, like this:

Elephant Tulsa Zoo twitter

Learn More About Asian Elephants!

The Tulsa Zoo has lots of information about Asian Elephants here:


You can also learn more about Asian Elephants by searching the library's databases for interesting articles. We can't reprint the entire articles here, but you can find them by going to https://www.tulsalibrary.org/research/databases and the “Primary Search” database. Provide your last name and library card number, and you’re in!

"Elephant Cousins" - Asian and African Elephants aren't the same, but they are pretty close!

elephant cousins

And here's an interesting fact about Asian elephants! Did you know they are weight lifters?

weight lifting asian elephants


Tulsa Zoo Elephant Videos!

Watch these amazing videos from the Tulsa Zoo!

Sneezy Plays in a Dirt Pile: 


How Does the Tulsa Zoo Help Elephants Stay Happy ("Elephant Enrichment")?


P.S. It has something to do with watermelons!

Log-tastic Times with Elephants!


Bungee-Ball Bouncing with Sneezy!


Sneezy Gets Radiographs of Feet!


Making Elephant Snacks Easier!


Elephant Facts, Elephant Fables

Elephant Facts

Here are some great elephant facts, in one poster! (Click on the picture to download the poster.)

Elephant facts poster

You can also learn more about elephants by searching the library's databases for interesting articles. We can't reprint the entire articles here, but you can find them by going to https://www.tulsalibrary.org/research/databases and the “Primary Search” database. Provide your last name and library card number, and you’re in!

"Keeping Cool the Elephant Way"

keep cool elephants

"How To Save a Baby Elephant"

The dramatic story of how rescuers were able to save a baby elephant from starvation - and a lion attack!

How to save baby elephant

"Should This Elephant Go Free?"

What should happen to Happy the Elephant at the Bronx Zoo?

Should elephant go free

Elephant Fables

Fables are made-up stories from long ago that try to teach you the right way to act or think. Aesop (say it: EE-sawp) was an ancient storyteller from long, long, long ago who liked to tell stories where animals were more like humans.

Find all of Aesop's Fables at the Library of Congress website here: Library of Congress Aesop Fables (read.gov)

You can also find just the fables related to elephants here:


You can also go to the library's catalog and search "Easy Picture - Elephants" or "Elephants - Fiction" for more made-up stories with elephants as characters!

Elephant Lesson Plans & Printables!

"How to Be an Elephant"

The 2022 Books To Treasure illustrator is Katherine Roy, and her book, How to Be an Elephant, will be given to every 2nd grader in Tulsa and Tulsa County. She will be in Tulsa on November 18 to give a presentation and sign books! (Learn more here: https://www.tulsalibrary.org/kids/books-to-treasure)

As a bonus, Tulsa City-County Library children's librarians and staff have created lesson plan "starters" and printables for parents and educators to use. Please download, print, and adapt for your classroom or child!

Elephant Facts Crossword

Find the full lesson, with printable (crossword), here: https://www.tulsalibrary.org/sites/default/files/2022-09/Elephant%20Facts%20Crossword%20BTT%202022%20Lesson%20Plan%20Starter.pdf

Text is also below!

Elephant crossword

Lesson Starter Title: "How to Be an Elephant”  

Book(s): How to Be an Elephant Growing Up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy  

In a Nutshell: 

Students use their background knowledge and context clues to gain insight during pre-reading picture-walk, then learn about the life, physical attribute, behaviors, and habitats of the African elephant through reading and discussion of How to Be an Elephant Growing Up in the African Wild. Students can apply their new knowledge in a crossword puzzle using facts from the book. 

Do This! 

1. As a group, invite students to evaluate the cover and illustrations of How to Be an Elephant by Roy with a picture-walk. Discuss the elephants’ ages, habitats, and activities the observed in the illustrations.  

2. Introduce students to “Words to Know” that they will encounter while reading the book. 

3. As a group read How to Be an Elephant Growing Up in the African Wild, inviting students to make connections between the text and illustrations as you progress.  

4. After reading, invite students to discuss the different physical adaptations, familial setup, and habitat of the African elephant. Below are some sample discussion questions. 

Post-Reading Discussion Questions 

1. How many months does it take for a baby elephant to grow before he/she is born? 

2. How are African elephant families different from most other species?  

3. What physical adaptations make it easy for a baby elephant to walk immediately after birth and for juveniles and adults to walk for many miles?  

4. How are elephant bodies adapted for an extraordinary sense of smell?  

5. How do elephants communicate with other elephants—near and far?  

6. How does an elephant control its body temperature?  

7. What do elephants eat at each life stage?  

8. In what ways do elephants contribute to the African savanna ecosystem? 


Use This—Printable! 

How to be an Elephant Crossword Puzzle – all clues taken directly from the book’s text 

So, You Want to Be an Elephant Ranger!

"How to Be an Elephant" is all about what it takes to learn and grow from a baby elephant into a full-grown elephant. But what if you want to become an elephant...ranger?

Find the full lesson and printable at the link below. Text is also below.


Lesson Starter Title: "How to Be an Elephant” Ranger!

**Inspired by the WWF educator toolkit from https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources/toolkits/elephant-toolkit

Book(s): How to Be an Elephant Growing Up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy and other nonfiction texts about elephants and wildlife rangers such as the magazine article listed below in Ranger Rick, Elephants of Africa (2021) by Gail Gibbons, 10 Reasons to Love an Elephant by Catherine Barr, and/or the mini episode of Leo the Wildlife Ranger.        

In a Nutshell:

Elephant populations are incredibly vulnerable, and their habitats are shrinking. Since 1979, African elephant’s habitats have shrunk 50% and Asian elephants are now left with only 15% of their original range according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. Elephants are very important to the ecosystem and are considered a “keystone” species because of their impact on the living spaces of many other animals, which Roy describes in her book! In this lesson, students are asked to use the information gained from nonfiction sources in order to write creatively. They will compose a diary entry as if they are a wildlife ranger to describe what a ranger does to benefit the elephants and the environment.

Do This!

  1. Read or do a picture-walk of How to Be an Elephant by Roy with your students. If you choose to do a picture-walk, make sure to read/spend more time on the sections “Making Space” and “Common Ground” for the purpose of this lesson.
  2. Explain what “endangered” means and what a wildlife ranger does: manage and protect parks, forests, or wildlife. Ask, “Why is this job important for elephants? Why is this job important for humans and other animals?”

*This could be a great time to ask if they know of any other endangered species and talk about that if you would like!

  1. Read the article, “Collaring Elephants in Kenya” with students (next page or available to download on WWF link at top).

*Share other texts about elephants and wildlife ranging such as this Ranger Rick article from March 2022 or this mini episode of Leo the Wildlife Ranger.

  1. Ask students “Would you want to be a wildlife ranger? Why or why not?” and recall what you read in the article about the technology to monitor elephants.

*Challenge students to propose ideas of how they would protect elephants if they were rangers. Encourage creativity with technology and other strategies.

  1. Ask students to imagine they are an elephant wildlife ranger and have them create a diary entry summarizing their day. Encourage creativity with descriptions while also having them incorporate what they learned from nonfiction texts.
  2. Extension: Have them add art to their diary entry and collect the entries in one “anthology” for the classroom library.

Use This—Printable!

My day as a wildlife ranger template and “Collaring Elephants in Kenya”

Fancy Nose, Fancy Words

Find the full lesson and printable at this link:


Smell picture story

Lesson Starter: Fancy Nose, Fancy Words in “How to Be an Elephant” 

Book: “How to Be an Elephant” written and illustrated by Katherine Roy 

In a Nutshell: A vocabulary lesson related to some of the “fancy words” in the “Smell-O-Vision” and “Nose Job” sections in “How To Be an Elephant.” The teacher will draw a “picture story” of an elephant’s trunk and add related vocabulary words as they explain what each word means. Students will learn how to draw their own “picture stories” of the elephant’s trunk 

Do This! 

  1. Read “Smell-O-Vision” and “Nose Job” sections. Stop to answer any questions and add commentary. 

  1. Say, “I’m going to read the ‘Smell-O-Vision’ section again. Pay attention to some of the words you don’t know and I’m going to write them down on the board.”  

  1. Do this. 

  1. You can draw your “picture story” on the whiteboard or a large piece of paper. You can draw lines in pencil to help guide you. 

  1. First, draw an elephant’s face, with ears and eyes, but an emphasis on the trunk. (Use the picture in “Smell-O-Vision” as your model. See also the printable below.) 

  1. “So, we have learned that elephants don’t see very well, but they do have a remarkable sense of SMELL. One really fancy word that means it is describing the sense of smell is OLFACTARY.” Write “olfactory” under the nose. 

  1. Additional question: “Why would you need another word that means SMELL?” – Possible answers: because it gets boring to say or write the same word over and over; because scientists like to use more specific words to show that they know more. 

  1. Point to your nose. “There’s another word that sounds like ‘nose’ but isn’t and that is related to noses is ‘nasal.’ That just means it’s part of a nose. The next fancy word is actually TWO words that go together, and that is ‘NASAL CAVITY.’ Does anyone know what a cavity is? In your tooth, right? It means a hollow part, like a tube. Well, ‘NASAL CAVITY’ then means a hole or tube in your nose, which every nose has so that you can get smells up into your nose.” Write ‘NASAL CAVITY’ in the tube part of the elephant nose, or next to it with an arrow to the tube part. 

  1. “Now, what kinds of things do you think the elephants are smelling with their OLFACTORY systems?” [Various answers: plants, other animals, poop, mother elephants, the air, etc.] “Another word for SMELLS, and it’s a great fancy word!, is ‘AROMAS’, so we can say that the smell of grass is an AROMA, and the smell of a baby elephant’s mother is another AROMA.” Draw curlicues with different words (grass, mother) and label each one ‘AROMA.’ 

  1. “There’s one final fancy word to learn, and that is ‘RECEPTOR.’ These are special parts of the nose – you have them, too! – in the brain that figures out exactly what an AROMA or smell smells like. They ‘receive’ or “recept’ the aroma and then match it to the smell of grass or their mother.” Draw little circles inside the elephant’s head and label with ‘RECEPTORS.’ 

  1. Point to each word and ask what each one means, explaining again if they don’t remember. 

  1. You can stop the lesson here, or you can have students learn how to draw and tell the same “picture story” with these vocabulary words using the template, below. 

Use This! 

See the printable, below, with a sketch of the elephant nose and the words to use underneath. There is also an “answer key” drawing for students to refer to as a guide. 

Smell answer key

A Lesson in Perception! Elephant Poop & "Ugly" Beasts

Become an Elephant Scientist! In 3 Easy Steps

1. Learn!

Learn more about elephants in LOTS of ways!

One way is to search the library's databases for interesting articles. We can't reprint the entire articles here, but you can find them by going to https://www.tulsalibrary.org/research/databases and the “Primary Search” database. Provide your last name and library card number, and you’re in!

"Keeping Cool the Elephant Way"

keep cool elephants

"How To Save a Baby Elephant"

The dramatic story of how rescuers were able to save a baby elephant from starvation - and a lion attack!

How to save baby elephant

"Should This Elephant Go Free?"

What should happen to Happy the Elephant at the Bronx Zoo?

Should elephant go free

Elephants Can't Jump!

Lots of animals jump - but not elephants!

Elephants can't jump

2. Watch!

Elephant watching is SO much easier than it was in the days before YouTube!

Here are just some of our favorite elephant videos:

Two Baby Elephants Have Fun with a Tire!


elephant tire

Singing Lullaby Puts Two Baby Elephants To Sleep


Lullaby elephants

Playing in the Rain!


Rain elephants

Elephants Talk!


Reunion of 3 Elephant Sisters!


Elephant reunion


3. Take Notes!

The best scientists watch, observe, and...take notes!

Watch one or all of the videos above and write down what you see - and what conclusions you can make. (For example, after watching these videos, can you make the conclusion that elephants are smart?)

Watch This! Elephant Factivities

Learn About Elephants with Ms. Julia!

Elephants are awesome! Ms. Julia tells you more in the fun Factivities video that combines elephant facts with some cool elephant activities!


Elephant factivities

Kids Read Identity + Kids Read Themes Book Lists

Download and Print These Lists!