The Talking Elephant

Pedagogical guidelines and construction instructions

A Talking Elephant is a simple automata toy that is suitable for construction by children from the age of 4 years. It consists of a cardboard box that has the face of an elephant at the front and at the back a lever that a child can use to make the elephant’s mouth open. It allows children to anthropomorphize the elephant automata and use it as an object of play while still gaining educational insights.

How the Elephant can be used to teach STEM areas – here

Elefante Falador – Download the step by step guide in Portuguese here

Elefante Parlante – Scarica la versione in italiano qui

Den snakkende elefanten – Last ned veiledning til konstruksjon og didaktisk bruk her

Говорещият слон – Инструкции за изработване

Mechanisms and levers
The mechanism is very simple. A wooden stick with something, like a cork or bottle top pushed on to the end that pushes the face of the elephant forward and upward. The movement is manual without any complex mechanism. To make the movement, the teachers guides the children to find the centre of the back of the cardboard box.

Zoology concepts
It allows the exploration of biology/zoology and natural science concepts.
Some ideas include exploring :
▪ The names of the body parts
▪ The vocalization (Trumpeting)
▪ The physical characteristics (the skin, the trunk)
▪ Movement (walking, catching with the trunk etc)
▪ Eating habits
▪ Reproduction
▪ Species evolution
It also opens up the possibility of talking about geography associated with the elephants habitats, for
example, their geographical location.

Video tutorial