Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with these recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.
Join us
Lovely Beasts cover

Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth

illustrated by Heidi Smith

Learn more about awe-inspiring animals in the wild: it’s best not to judge a beast until you understand its full, lovely life.
Lovely Beasts cover

How to Teach This Book

Lovely Beasts will get students thinking about the wonder of biodiversity and how animals, like anything else, can be misunderstood. What do students know and what can they learn about the wildlife in their own community? To help students more fully understand the beauty, uniqueness, and value of local wildlife, take them on a walking field trip to a park or plan a visit to a nearby natural area to observe and identify local birds, animals, and insects. Get students working to help change perceptions of wild creatures in their community by:

  • inviting a local naturalist or park ranger to read aloud about the amazing adaptations of local wildlife and generate ideas to break stereotypes with students
  • creating masks that show the different sides of animals and performing Lovely Beasts as Reader’s Theater
  • writing and sharing their own version of Lovely Beasts featuring animals in your community.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. What were you most surprised to learn about these animals?
  2. What things do you think about animas based on how they look?
  3. What other descriptive words would you use to describe the different animals in this book?
  4. What does it mean to look at something from a different perspective?

Additional Resources for Teaching About Animals

Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with these recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
Mom and daughter reading

Help for Families During COVID-19

Families play a key role in helping students avoid the "COVID-19 slide." We've curated a collection of helpful resources and fun activities designed to keep at-home learners engaged and growing.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.