Wolves is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson that allows students to practice grade-appropriate reading comprehension, foundational reading, and reading fluency skills. These reading comprehension lessons are designed to be completed in one or two class settings.

Each lesson discusses a subject that students want to read about and that teachers will want to incorporate into their reading instruction. The lesson is appropriate as a whole-class, stand-alone lesson or as an independent small-group activity. Be sure to check if there is a Learn Bright video that goes with this lesson!

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What our Wolves lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Wolves is a high-interest reading comprehension lesson plan. As such, students will practice various close reading and comprehension skills. In addition, they will learn about the wolf’s habitat, diet, and behaviors. This lesson is for students in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page provides an extra paragraph of information to help guide the lesson and remind you what to focus on. It explains that you can teach this lesson in a whole-class setting or to an independent, small group as an activity. The blank lines on this page are available for you to write out thoughts and ideas you have as you prepare the lesson.


What Are Wolves?

The Wolves lesson plan contains three content pages. To start off, it provides a small box with basic background information about the wolf. We commonly refer to this animal as the timber wolf or grey wolf. It’s a mammal that lives in a few types of habitats, including forests, deserts, and grasslands. As carnivores, they consume the meat of other animals, mostly large or medium hoofed animals. In the wild, they live for approximately 6–8 years.

A wolf is the ancestor of our domesticated dog. From the tip of their nose to the end of their tail, wolves range from four to six feet long and weigh between 50 and 100 pounds. Their coats can be any combination of white, grey, taupe, brown, and black. Wolves have short pointy ears and good eyesight. While they can’t see as far as a human, they have much better peripheral vision (the view on the side of the eyes when looking straight ahead). In addition, they have huge feet and a total of 42 teeth. That’s 10 more than humans have!

Wolves live in groups called packs. The pack members are often family members, but sometimes wolves that are not family join if they do not have a pack of their own. There are typically around 12 wolves in a pack, but packs can be as small as 2 or as large as 25. Wolves make a noise called a howl to communicate with their pack over long distances—up to 10 miles away!—and to mark the edges of their territory.

These majestic animals travel in packs to protect themselves from enemies. They have a keen sense of smell, sharp eyesight, and exceptional hearing ability. Because they can run very fast (31–37 mph) and have a lot of endurance, they can easily outrun their enemies when in danger.

What They Eat and Other Interesting Facts

Wolves are carnivores. They mainly eat large or medium-hoofed animals. But they will eat birds, rodents, foxes, snakes, or reptiles if they can’t find a large animal. Wolves have even been seen eating fish too! In the pack, the alpha male and alpha female feed first, and then the other members get to eat. Wolves have razor-sharp teeth that can rip through meat, making eating much more effortless.

In addition, wolves devour their prey immediately. They do not save it or wait to eat what they hunt. Sometimes they will have to go without food for days, so wolves are not picky eaters. When humans go without food, we often say we are as hungry as a wolf. The average wolf will eat up to two and a half pounds of meat daily.

Here’s an interesting fact: wolves have two kinds of fur. The outer layer (the guard) is made up of long, coarse hairs that shed water and snow. This layer contains pigments, or coloring, which give the wolf’s coat its color. The inner layer consists of thick, soft gray wool, which traps air and insulates the wolf from the elements. These layers are so warm that wolves can comfortably tolerate temperatures far below zero. In the spring, wolves shed the inner layer of wool to help keep themselves cool during the summer.

Wolves have a very acute, or intense, sense of smell. Their sense of smell is 100 times stronger than humans. As a result, they can detect other animals up to a mile away. A considerable part of a wolf’s brain is used to process smell, just like a massive part of our brain is used to process images.

Why They Are Important

Wolves play an important role in keeping ecosystems healthy. For example, they help keep the deer and elk populations balanced, which in turn helps other plants and animals remain in balance. And the carcasses of the animals they eat help provide nutrients for grizzly bears and other scavenger animals.

Even though people often think of wolves as mean creatures, they are actually very gentle. They only become violent when they are sick or need to protect other wolves in their pack.

Wolves are at the top of the food chain in the animal kingdom. Their only predators are humans. However, wolves are becoming more endangered because of pollution, industrial growth, and natural disasters. Because of this, wolves were recently introduced back into Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to breed. Because of hunting and poisoned water, there were no wolves in Yellowstone for many years. But now they are living there once again!


The Wolves lesson plan includes two worksheets: an activity worksheet and a practice worksheet. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.


For this activity, students will design a campaign poster. Their goal is to convince people to change their minds about allowing the wolves back into Yellowstone National Park. Students must include at least three facts about wolves, such as that they are gentle, run very fast, and live in families called packs.

Students must help people understand that bringing wolves back will not hurt the livestock. They will include pictures of wolves and of the park. They can draw their poster or create it on a computer to print out later. The worksheet shows a small box at the bottom that students can use to create a rough draft. The larger box on the next page is for the final product.


The practice worksheet requires students to answer a series of 11 questions. These questions all relate to the content pages, so students will need to refer to them often for the answers. In addition, each question provides which reading tool the question corresponds to, such as text feature, vocabulary, or comprehension.

Worksheet Answer Keys

At the end of the lesson plan document is an answer key for the practice worksheet. The correct answers are all in red to make it easier for you to compare them with students’ responses. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade


Science, High-Interest Reading

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state

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