This being National Pet Month seemed the purr-fect time to explore different ways to write about animals, which make great subjects for all kinds of stories, from books about the special relationships between animals and humans (like Michael Morpurgo writes), to funny fiction that makes us chortle like cheeky chimps!

Read on to get stuck into 3 awesome animal-themed writing activities. If you like reading about animals, take a look at our animal books section.

1. Animal Acrostics

Write an acrostic poem about your pet. An acrostic poem is a poem in which the first letter of each line spells out the word the poem is about.

So, when it comes to writing an acrostic poem about your pet, you could either use its name, or the kind of animal it is. For example, if you had a pet cat called Colin, you could either use the letters C A T, or the letters C O L I N to write your poem. Here’s an example:

Cute and cuddly

Agile and bubbly

Tickly and fluffy

Now write your own an acrostic poem using the cat’s name:






Next, write an acrostic poem about your own pet. Don’t have a pet? Don’t worry! Think about your dream pet and write about that instead.

2. Empathy Purr-fection!

One of the skills every writer needs is empathy. That means being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes to create characters your readers will believe are real. In this case, that means putting yourself in the paws, claws, trotters, or flippers of your characters (we are, after all, writing animal stories!).

To help purr-fect your empathy skills, imagine you’re an animal and write a paragraph from their perspective. Think about your view of the world. For example, if you’re a bird you’d see things from a very different perspective than a mole! Think about how you move — do you slink, pounce, bounce or hop? Think about what noises you make — do you roar, purr, squawk or squeak? Think about your surroundings — where you live, and what the landscape and weather is like. Here are some ideas to get you started:

I am a ...

a) leatherback turtle in the tropical sea

b) lion in the open savannah

c) fox exploring the city at night

d) penguin fishing for food

e) sloth in a rainforest

For more tips on how to create great characters, read our Get Creative article about doing exactly that.

3. Freaky facts!

Here are some freaky animal facts you could use to spark your own stories:

Some sharks glow in the dark.

Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.

Some snails have hairy shells.

Cowbirds use secret codes to teach their young.

Snakes smell with their tongues.

Pick your favourite fact and use it as the basis of your own awesome animal story. Think about what role the fact could play in your story, and what kind of story you want to write — an exciting adventure about an explorer? A comedy caper about a zoo keeper? A far-out animal fantasy? It’s up to you!

You could also research weird and wonderful facts about animals to use as inspiration.

For more creative inspiration and activities, check out the rest of our Get Creative series.

We also have a special collection of fiction and non-fiction in Books for Young Dog Lovers, and for our young feline fans 30+ Kids Books about Cats. 

Joanne Owen is a writer and publishing professional with over twenty years’ experience of the book industry, and the author of a how-to children’s guide to creative writing, You Can Write Awesome Stories. Alongside writing and reviewing books, she hosts writing workshops and is an Editorial Expert for LoveReading.