Weird Animals

article by Pooja Nukala , photo by Alamy

Learning Intention:

I am learning to locate information on a topic and share it in both written and verbal form so that I can further develop my research and presentation skills.


Success Criteria:

  • I can research information relevant to the topic of a text
  • I can collect and write information that I believe is interesting to an audience
  • I can present my information to the class.



Oral language and communication:

Divide the class into pairs and have each student read two of the animals from the article, then share the interesting facts about them with their partner. If you have a digital subscription, you may wish to use the interactive activity to review the information with students. View the National Geographic Kids video Weird But Wonderful Animals as a class and discuss what students found interesting about each animal. Answers may include:

  • Probiscis monkeys leap off tall trees and belly flop into the water
  • Pangolins are mammals covered in scales
  • Kakapo is the world’s only flightless parrot
  • Tapirs use their trunks to pick things up, pull leaves off branches and pluck fruit from trees
  • Mexican Axolotls can regenerate limbs, organs and their own brains
  • Aye-Ayes have unusually long middle fingers, which they use to scoop larvae from the inside of trees
  • Naked mole rats incisor teeth can move on their own
  • Titicaca water frog’s skin allows it to stay underwater as long as it wants.


Inform the students that they will be choosing their own weird and wonderful animal to research and present to the class. To enable them to do this, you may wish to start with online sources such as BBC Science’s Weird Animals or Readers Digest’s 30 of the Weirdest Animals From Around the World, or borrow some animal books from the library (Dewey Decimal number 590).

Creating text:

Students should read about their chosen animal and summarise 3-5 interesting facts about them. Once all information has been collated, students should publish their animal facts and pictures either on paper or using digital software such as Canva or Google Slides and present it to the class.


Assessment as learning:

Students will be broken into small group of 4-5 students where they will be given the task to present their chosen animal summary in an interesting manner to their group.

Peers will provide verbal feedback using the Two stars and a Wish  following statements:

  • I really like the way you….
  • I enjoyed listening to the part where…
  • It was a smart idea to…
  • It was interesting how…
  • You grabbed my attention when…
  • How do you feel about adding…
  • Maybe there is a different way of including…
  • How do you feel about changing….
  • My recommendation would be to…