TeachKind Rescue Stories: Idabelle’s Great Escape (Grades K-2)

Has Carly the cow visited your school yet? If so, you and your students know all about the sophisticated emotional lives of cows and how the consumption of dairy affects them. (If not, send us an e-mail at [email protected] to find out when Carly will be in your neighborhood.)

Kids in audience asking questions about Carly the cow

Carly the cow event at Banning Rec. Center

Carly’s tale is so captivating because it’s a rescue story. Stories of people helping animals are all over the internet, and sharing them with your students is an excellent way to encourage kindness both in and out of the classroom. Because most children naturally feel compassion for animals, sharing rescue stories is a great way to engage and motivate different types of learners and encourage them to take action to help end animal abuse.

Each TeachKind Rescue Stories reading comprehension worksheet tells a different animal’s tale of transformation and features key vocabulary words and questions in order to encourage literal, inferential, and evaluative thinking. These worksheets were used in a study that found that students who read passages about having compassion for animals performed significantly better on Common Core–aligned assessments, demonstrating that instructional time need not be sacrificed in order to instill empathy in young people!

Use the TeachKind Rescue Stories reading comprehension worksheet below to help students in grades K through 2 learn more about cows and understand that no animals deserve to suffer for our food. This rescue story is centered around the story of Idabelle, a pregnant cow who jumped off a boat and swam to safety.

Use other TeachKind resources to build an entire lesson around Idabelle’s rescue story—it can be easily incorporated into your next language arts unit and is great for English-language learners, too. You can use this worksheet to address the following Common Core English language arts standards:


Grade 1

Grade 2

Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

If you use the read-aloud version of Idabelle’s story (included in the PDF below), be sure to display the images below to aid students’ understanding of the text.

Download Idabelle’s Rescue Story Reading Comprehension Worksheet!

Download this lesson in digital format here!

  • Display photo A when reading the first and second paragraphs.
  • Display photo B when reading the end of the second paragraph.
  • Display photo C when reading the third paragraph.
  • Display photo D when reading the fourth paragraph.
  • Display photo E when reading the end of the fifth paragraph.

Please share these resources with other teachers to inspire them to incorporate compassion for animals into their curricula.

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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