Texas Wildlife: Critters and Flitters

Books to Share

  • Armadillo Ray by John Beifuss.
  • Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest by Gerald McDermott.
  • Showdown at Lonesome Pellet by Paul Ratz de Tagyos.
  • Tumbleweed Stew by Susan Stevens Crummel.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • The Alamo Cat by Rita Kerr.
  • Buffalo Hunt by Russell Freedman.
  • Learn About Texas Dinosaurs by Georg Zappler.
  • Whooping Cranes by Karen Dudley.
  • Wild Dogs: Wolves, Coyotes, and Foxes by Deborah Hodge.

Bulletin Board

Texas Animal Habitats

Copy and color animals on the web site, Color Texas Animals at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/adv/kidspage/colorpic.htm. Place a large map of Texas on the bulletin board and attach the animals in some of the areas of the State in which they live.


Animal Tracks

Choose various Texas animals or animal tracks. Let them represent the various age groups participating in the Texas Reading Club. For example, a jackrabbit could represent 8-year-olds, and a roadrunner could represent 9-year-olds. Add animals or tracks onto the bulletin board or wall to display their reading progress. Each animal or track may represent the number of hours or books read or the number of children participating.


Old McDonald

Sing Old McDonald and substitute Texas animals such as armadillos, turkeys, eagles, mountain lions, foxes, wood ducks, owls, and rattlesnakes.

Reader's Theater

Armando the Awkward Armadillo

Let the children read, "Armando the Awkward Armadillo."


Texas Animal Puppets

Make puppets of various Texas animals. Patterns for puppets may be found in Lions, and Tigers, and Books-Oh My!: Program Guide for the Texas Reading Club 1993 by Tim Wadham.

Fold'em Snakes


  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Bead (optional)
  • Wiggley eyes (optional)


Cut strips of paper ½ inch wide and 8 ½ inches or longer. Overlap the ends of the paper and glue them together. Fold the strips of paper alternately across each other as shown in the illustration. Glue the last 2 folds together. Glue a 1-inch triangle to one end for the snake's head. A bead on a string can be glued to the tail to make a rattle. Draw eyes with markers or glue on wiggley eyes.

  1. Overlap the ends of the paper and glue them together.
  2. Fold the strips of paper alternately across each other, step 1.
  3. Fold the strips of paper alternately across each other, step 2.
  4. Fold the strips of paper alternately across each other, step 3.
  5. Fold the strips of paper alternately across each other, step 4.

Then begin again at 1!

folded snake

Build a Paper Birdhouse



Copy the birdhouse pattern. Children glue it onto the colored paper, cut it out, and fold all the tabs on the thin lines to the inside of the birdhouse. Next, fold on the other thin lines, tape or glue the tabs securely, and tie a string to it to hang the paper birdhouse.

Games and Activities

Coyote Stories

Tell coyote stories from the Native American tradition such as those in Coyote and Native American Folk Tales by Joe Hayes.

Animal Word Find

Distribute the animal word find puzzle.

Guest Speakers

Invite a local petting zoo or animal trainer to bring some Texas animals and talk about their habitats.

Musical Recordings

Birds, Beasts, Bugs and Fishes by Pete Seeger.


  • Birding Texas. (37 minutes)
  • Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night. (8 minutes)

Web Sites

All About Texas Animals

Color Texas Animals

Professional Resources

  • Birding Texas with Children by Evault "Bosie" Boswell.
  • Coyote & Native American Folk Tales by Joe Hayes.
  • Learn about Texas Birds by Mark W. Lockwood.
  • Lone Star Menagerie: Adventures with Texas Wildlife by Jim Harris.
  • Texas Toys and Games by Francis Edward Abernathy.


Texas Reading Club 2002 Programming Manual / Read Across Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011