Best Books for Teaching About Animals in the Upper Elementary Classroom

Check out this video where I feature my favorite books to use when teaching about animals in the upper elementary classroom #science #teachinganimals

Teaching science was not really my jam, if we are being honest.

But, there were a few science units that I really enjoyed teaching to my students.  Teaching animals was definitely one of those.  It's also one of those units that students typically get excited about.  


When I was putting together my science unit on animals I came across some really great books on animals that you might want to keep in your classroom during your animal unit.  I'm going to share them with your today and even walk you through them in a quick video.

These books are not necessarily read-aloud anchor texts, although some are, but rather books to have on hand for your students to read on their own. It's important to keep extra books in addition to your read loud texts in your classroom library to encourage student exploration.

Make these books stand out by placing them in their own basket and drawing attention to them several times throughout your unit.  You may even want to introduce each book briefly at the beginning of your unit and make specific suggestions to students who you think may enjoy a particular book.

Here are my favorites:

Below is a list of each book in case you want to check out more.  You can even click on each title if you'd like to purchase from (affiliate links)


Animal Classification by Angela Royston

Classifying Invertebrates by Francine D. Galko


Nature's Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats by Mary Miche

EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures by Roxie Munro

Changes in Animal Habitats by Steve Parker


Oil Spill! by Melvin Berger

Animals in Danger in North America by Richard Spilsbury 

Almost Gone by Steve Jenkins


Forest Food Chains by  Bobbie Kalman


Adaptation by Melani Waldron

The Journey: Stories of Migration by Cynthia Rylant

Creature Features Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Great Migration by Elizabeth Carney

Animal Hibernation by Jeanie Mebane

Where in the Wild?  Camouflages Creatures Concealed...and Revealed by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy


Actual Size by Steve Jenkins