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Pre-Visit Activity: Parts of an Antelope


In this matching activity, students will learn the names of the body parts that make up an antelope and discover that some body parts are made of the same material.


In this matching activity, students will:
  1. learn the names of the body parts that make up an antelope.
  2. discover that some body parts are made of the same material.


  • note cards (20 per class)
  • Antelope diagram, 8x11 or 11x17


  • horn: the bony part growing atop the head of animals like antelope
  • hoof: the hard toes found on animals like horses and antelope
  • fur: the soft, hairy coat covering the skin of a mammal



  1. Print out a copy of the ANTELOPE diagram.
  2. Prepare 20 note cards such that half are printed with the numerals 1 through 10, and the other half are labeled with one of the following body parts, respectively: NOSE, MOUTH, LEG, HOOF, HORN, EAR, EYE, BACK, BELLY, TAIL.


Using the ANTELOPE diagram, compare the antelope to a deer, a cow, or a sheep. Does anyone know what sound a sheep makes, or what a cow eats? An antelope is similar. It doesn’t make as much noise as a sheep, but it can moan, snort, cry out, and even whistle. And just like a sheep or a cow, antelopes like to chew on grass all day. In what ways does the picture of the antelope remind you of other animals?


  1. Explain that the class will play a matching game to try to guess all of the numbered body parts correctly.
  2. Mix the note cards face down on the ground in the middle of the circle. Have each student pick one. Be responsible for any extra cards.
  3. Beginning with the student holding the “1” card, have the holder announce themselves and set their card down on the ground, and indicate the location of the label on the diagram. Then, have students with word cards look at their cards, and come forward if they think they are holding the match. Repeat the exercise through round ten, forming two columns on the ground: numbers on the left, matching words on the right.
  4. As you progress, briefly discuss each body part. How many are present? What is the function of the structure? Compare the antelope’s parts to those of the students, in terms of number, size, use, texture, etc.
  5. Be sure to introduce the words “horn” and “hoof,” which may be new vocabulary, and explain that the plural form of hoof is “hooves.”


Have students touch the hair on their head and the fuzz on their skin, and compare it to an antelope’s fur. Tell students that two of the remaining parts of the antelope are made of this same material (horn, hoof). Can they guess which ones? Give them the hint that the two body parts begin with the same letter, which still affords a challenge given the choices!


  • Print out copies of the diagram for each student to color and label with words (block out the numbers with white paper before copying).
  • Using images from a book, a website, or our own Image Gallery, compare and contrast the features of various antelope species.
  • Consider coupling the activity with the Make your own Antelope Horns! craft activity, or the Am I Taller than an Antelope? lesson.
  • Looking for some structure while visiting Tusher African Center? Check out the Guiding Questions and Focused Activities available for use by the teacher or chaperone.

California Content Standards


Physical Sciences

  • 1a. Students know objects can be described in terms of the materials they are made of (e.g., clay, cloth, paper) and their physical properties (e.g., color, size, shape, weight, texture, flexibility, attraction to magnets, floating, sinking).

Life Sciences

  • 2c. Students know how to identify major structures of common plants and animals (e.g., stems, leaves, roots, arms, wings, legs)



Found on the heads of antelopes, sheep, goats, and cattle, horns are made up of a bony core covered with a hard tissue called keratin. Keratin is the protein that forms fingernails, hair, and feathers. Horns are permanent, growing throughout an animal’s life, so one can often use horn size to guess an animal’s age. Horns come in different shapes; some are long and pointy, others are heavy, curving spirals. Some are smooth, and others have a corkscrew texture.

Although it varies by species, both males and females can have horns. Antelopes use horns to push others out of their territory, but they don’t often stab or poke each other. Instead, when antelopes fight, they put their heads down, entangle their horns, and have a pushing war. In this way, antelope sparring is similar to arm wrestling. Extremely long and sharp horns might be used to fight against a lion or a leopard, but the most common defense mechanism of an antelope is to run away from a predator.

The hooves of an antelope are equivalent to the fingernails of humans or the claws of a cat, and just like the horns atop their heads, are made of the protein keratin. An antelope essentially walks on the tips of its fingers and toes. Just as nails grow, so do an antelope’s hooves, but when the animal walks, the hooves wear down. Hooves help an antelope run quickly and jump safely on the ground or the rocks.


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