An Elephant’s Life

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers introduce animal rights issues to their students. If you’re an educator, please feel free to adapt this material to fit your needs, and contact us if you need help incorporating this activity into your curriculum!

Suggested grade levels: 3rd–5th grade

Objectives: Learn about elephants and their relationships and contrast what their natural lives in the wild would be like with what their lives are really like in circuses.

This comic book tells the story of three young people who go to an animal-free circus and meet a strong man and a trapeze artist who share the compelling story of Daisy the elephant. In the course of listening to Daisy’s story, the children learn about the behavior, family lives, and natural habitats of elephants. They also become aware of the cruelty inherent in tearing animals away from their homes and families and forcing them to perform in circuses. You can click below to view the comic book online and print it for your students.

an elephant's life comic

Once your students have read the comic, print out copies of the corresponding “Amazing Facts” and “Reading Questions” worksheets to help them process the material and learn even more about elephants.

elephant's life lesson plan worksheet

Love this lesson? Check out “A Chicken’s Life” to teach your students about animals used for food!

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind