Elephant Lesson for Kids: Facts & Habitat

Instructor: Marla Lohmann

Marla has a PhD in Special Education, has taught students at the elementary and middle school levels and currently teaches future teachers.

In lesson, learn about the largest land animal on the planet, the elephant! Read about where elephants live, what they eat, and the different types of elephants. Then, you can test your knowledge with a quiz.

Two Types of Elephants

Imagine this - you are on safari in Africa and, all of a sudden, you see something grey coming from the trees. What is it? You keep watching and a herd of elephants steps out of the trees. You didn't hear them coming, but now they are here.

African elephants
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There are two different types of elephants: the African elephant and the Asian elephant (I bet you can guess where each type lives!)

The African elephant lives in the southern part of Africa, in countries such as Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, and South Africa. African elephants are taller and wider than Asian elephants. They have big ears that go over their necks; an African elephants' ears look a bit like the continent of Africa (cool, huh - you can tell the difference just by looking at the ears). African elephants eat leaves.

The Asian elephant lives in Asia, in countries such as India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and southern China. Asian elephants have smoother skin and smaller ears than African elephants. Asian elephants mostly eat grass.

Fun Facts about Elephants

Elephants are mammals. Mammals are a class of animals that make milk to feed their babies, are warm-blooded, and have fur or hair. Did you know that you are a mammal?

Elephants' trunks are actually their noses and they use their trunks for several purposes. They use them for smelling, drinking water, trumpeting, removing leaves from trees, putting the leaves into their mouths and as a snorkel when they are swimming under the water. (Don't you wish your nose could do all that?)

Elephants can drink up to two gallons of water at one time and can eat as much as 300 pounds of food in a day. (That's a lot of food - my stomach would hurt if I ate that much!)

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