Originally published in 1968, Elmer has been enjoyed by generations of children. Whether you read the original version or the slightly altered version published in 1989, these Elmer the Elephant activities will be a hit.
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Elmer by David McKee is the story of a patchwork elephant who is well-loved in his community. But, he feels different and feels like he doesn’t belong with the herd. So, he sets off to become a “normal” elephant. When he returns as a regular elephant color none of the other elephants recognize him. Once he makes it known who he is, all the elephants get a chuckle. As the rain pours down revealing his real colors once again, everyone decides that each year they will have a look like Elmer day.
There are many Elmer stories to enjoy if you enjoy the original one too.
McKee talks about how Elmer came to be in this short video.
Elmer the Elephant Activities
For all of the activities below, you’ll need to download our free printables (see below.)
Happy or Sad Elmer Activity
This activity helps students identify character emotions while reading. In this activity, students when Elmer is happy and when he is sad in the story.
Before reading the story, give each child a happy and sad elephant card. As you read, pause and ask the students to show whether Elmer is happy or sad in the story. Students can raise the appropriate elephant to show their responses.
Where is Elmer? Song and Letter Activity
This activity helps students with letter identification and letter sounds. “Where is Elmer?” is to the tune “Where is Thumbkin?”
Give each child a small magnetic letter before singing. Each child should hold the letter in their right hand and place it behind their back.
As you sing the song, select one child to be Elmer. Repeat until everyone has had a turn.
Letter Decorating Elmer
During this activity, students will decorate their own unique Elmer elephant with a letter of their choice.
Students may choose to use the letter of their first name or another letter.
Have the children cut their chosen letter from various magazines or newspapers and/or write their letter in a pattern on the elephant. Students can also decorate with details to make a unique elephant.
Elmer Sensory Tray Writing
During this activity, students will practice fine motor skills, letter identification, and letter formation.
Fill a small tray with colorful material such as sprinkles or dyed rice.
Students will select an ABC elephant card and use their finger or other tools to draw that letter in the sensory tray.
Printable Elmer Activities
The printables to go with the activities above are a free thank you gift when you become a free VIP member of the Growing Book by Book community. Just click the purple button below to subscribe and get your thank you gift.
More Elmer the Elephant Ideas
Still need some more Elmer ideas? Try these.
Days with Grey shares a fine motor activity to use with Elmer.—>Elmer Fine Motor Idea
The OT Toolbox shares a visual perceptual activity for the book.—>Elmer Visual Perceptual Activity
Little Hands Learning shares a small world play idea.—>Elmer Small World Play
Enjoy reading and playing with Elmer.