Lesson 11.5: Social Studies Connection

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Listening to Elephants

In a national park in Ghana, a country in Africa, scientists watched a baby elephant. It was separated from its family. It stood alone very quietly. The scientists thought it did not make a sound. But soon they saw the baby elephant's family surround it.

How did the family find the baby elephant? Scientists found out that the baby had been making very low rumbling sounds that humans cannot hear. They knew this because they recorded the low rumbles. They made the rumbles louder on their recorder. Then they knew that the rumbles were calls for help.

Scientists also recorded two elephants greeting each other. They were calling back and forth. Once, the rumbles of a whole family of elephants were recorded. This helped to keep the family together as they traveled.

Scientists hope to figure out what other elephant sounds mean. This will help them keep track of elephants in the forest to learn more about how they live.

Word Wise

separated:
Kept apart from: I cracked the egg and separated the two parts of the shell.

record:
To store sounds in order to listen to them later: Mom records music on our computer.

rumbles:
Deep, long sounds: When it thunders, rumbles come from the sky.

greet:
To respond to: I greet Grandpa with a hug.

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Activity

Do you know how to use a dictionary? The words in a dictionary are listed in A-B-C order, or alphabetical order. This means that the words follow the order of the letters of the alphabet.

This group of words is in alphabetical order. But these words all start with the letter e. If the first letters of words are all the same, look at the second letters to put the words in alphabetical order.

  • egg
  • elephant
  • erase
  • even

On a sheet of paper, write each of these 3 lists of words in alphabetical order.

List 1 List 2 List 3
separated rumbles greet
stood rock get
scientists record game
sounds ring guppy

Data Hunt

Some people say, “An elephant never forgets.” Scientists do not think that this is true. But they do know that an elephant can remember about 30 commands. A command is a kind of rule.

What if you could teach an elephant commands? Pretend you will teach two kinds of commands - eating commands and trick commands. About how many of each could you teach? (Remember, you need a sum of about 30.)

Copy these sentences on a sheet of paper. For each, write two numbers that rounded to the nearest ten give a sum of 30. The first one is done for you.

  1.      9      eating commands and      21      trick commands.
  2.              eating commands and                trick commands.
  3.              eating commands and                trick commands.
  4.              eating commands and                trick commands.