Animals Make Things So Much More Fun! Math and Reading Activities for Grades 1-3

I am an animal lover - I think if I had the money, time, space (and wasn't allergic to cats) I'd have several dogs and at least one or two cats. I am very happy with my one (giant) dog though. (see below).

I've been working with children for many years and I rarely find a child who doesn't love animals, so I work animals into a lot of the things I do with my class. Sometimes I use them in math number stories, sometimes I use them in spelling sentences, I have lots of books, both fiction and non-fiction with animals... so a few months ago I thought, why not add animals to some of the activities I have already made and make them fresh and fun! I put together a whole bunch of math and language arts activities with an animal them into one packet.

Here is a look at some of the things that are in the packet. Near the end you will find a FREE preview that you can download! Yay ! At the end of the post I will tell you a couple of my favorite animal books. I'd love if you would comment and tell me yours!

Here is the cover - if you click on the image you can see it at Teachers Pay Teachers.
I tried to cover a bunch of math topic such as fractions, measuring, and single and double digit word problems The problem solving task cards come in color and black and white and there is a single digit addition and subtraction set as well as double digit. The double digit addition and subtraction also has 2 challenges - one multiplication and one division.
For Language Arts activities,I included activities with quotation marks, plurals, practice using apostrophes with possessives, and rhymes. For those who are looking to practice following directions, there is even a direction following practice activity. Here's a peek at one of the apostrophe practice pages. It seems no matter what I do we still could use practice with them!

Here's a peek at the Singular and Plural Nouns game! There is also a black and white set. Students can match them by playing the game Concentration style or Go Fish style! I did tell you I had a free preview! Yep! The preview is the rhyme time game if those kiddos need a fun way to practice rhymes. If you click on the image below you can get it from google docs! Enjoy!
I hope some of these can help you and your class!

Here are a couple great resources for your classroom library!

 My favorite animal books... (well some of them) are: 

The Magic Tree House Dogs in the Dead of Night by Mary Pope Osborne
Of course it is a fun engaging story but best of all, it has Saint Bernards!

McDuff Stories by Rosemary Wells and Susan Jeffers
I love McDuff Moves in and McDuff Comes Home and they are both included, along with others, in this compilation.

  Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
Who would have thought a Llama would make such a great character?

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Ralph S. Mouse is the most memorable mouse character in any book, ever (at least for me)! 

Charlotte's Web
Of Course! 

  Goose's Story by Cari Best
I first read this in our Treasures reading series. Inspiring and has a great message. I was impressed! 

Farfallina and Marcel by Holly Keller Another story I found through our Treasures Reading book . A
great tale of friendship and change


 Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White


 Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Frances Atwater
 I do not like this silly movie picture but I LOVE the classic story.


 Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Wonderful story that I just read recently. Made me tear up several times (in a good way).


  1. Your thumbnail on Pinterest caught my eye which lead me to your blog! Your dog is fantastic and your ideas are wonderful! :) I am a huge animal lover as well and agree that including animals somehow into lessons is a great attention grabber.
    I also love the McDuff books (so cute). Some of my favourite animal books are the Chester series by Melanie Watt and any Splat the Cat book.
    Take care,

    1. Hi Emily! Thanks for stopping by . Is Chester a horse? If not, I may not know those and will have to check them out!

    2. Hi!
      Chester is a large orange cat with a lot of attitude! :)

    3. Neato! Kids (and adults) love cats, especially cats with personality!

  2. What an awesome looking dog! My grade 4's asked me every single Monday (from March to June) to post a new picture of our kitten on the SMART Board. We visited her every week since she was born until we took her home, and they loved watching her grow. They sure do love animals!
    Grade 4 Buzz

    1. Thanks Lisa! My second graders loved seeing pix and videos of some baby birds that had a nest on my deck. Their enthusiasm is contagious!