Animal Communication: Present Simple
Every living creature communicates in a unique way. A crab waves its claws to say it is healthy and well and a goat keeps its tail up when it is pleased and happy. Gorilla also moves its body to communicate. When a male gorilla is together with its rival it leans forward and beats on its chest to demonstrate strength. While a group of bisons uses democracy in communication. When a herd migrates each herd member can vote which way to go. If a bison wants to vote it slowly shifts its body towards preferred direction. If no one disagrees all herd follows. It is interesting that a group is more likely to follow if an adult female takes initiative. A bee also helps the members of its colony. Usually one bee performs a dance and informs other bees of food nearby.
Language for some animals involves change in looks. A squid changes its colour if it wants to start a family and cuttlefish creates different patterns on its skin for protection. When an octopus defends itself it turns white.
Communication for other creatures includes sounds. A dominant chimp in a group hums loudly as it eats. This way it signals that there is enough food and others can feel safe. It also demonstrates own dominance. However, a sea animal often uses sounds because it can’t see well. For example, a baby dolphin learns to whistle from its mother. When it whistles it signals its own size, age and gender to other dolphins. A killer whale also makes sounds. It produces more sounds if it swims close to others. This way a group leader monitors the group and other killer whales can recognize each other.
Which animal… (encourage students to reply in full sentences by showing the example)
- ... waves its claws?
- ... keeps its tail up?
- ... leans forward and beats its chest?
- ... shifts its body?
- ... helps the members of its group?
- ... dances?
- ... informs others of food nearby?
- ... changes its colour?
- ... turns white for protection?
- ... hums when it eats?
- ... whistles?
- Divide students into groups and make them ask questions about the animals in the text.
- Add a group a point if they reply with a word and two points if give a full sentence as an answer.
- Students divide animals into 3 groups: sounds - colour - movements.
- Then retell the text using their notes.
Choose one task and write a short story. Use internet and dictionary to help you.
- Think about your pet or choose a pet animal you like. How do they communicate?
- Create a fantasy creature and write how it communicates.