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Keep Wild Animals Wild!

Fantastic curricula for multiple grade levels!

We, as science teachers, must do more than just teach science.  We absolutely should teach the important concepts that are appropriate to our subject areas and grade levels.  But doesn't our responsibility go further than that?  Shouldn't we also be charged with giving our students a global awareness of societal and ecological issues?  The students we teach today will be the decision makers of tomorrow.  Let's make sure they have a solid foundation in the ecological and environmental issues that we are currently facing.

Click image to view curriculum.
To that end, I am proud to tell you about an exciting curriculum called "Keep Wild Animals Wild."

The International Fund for Animal Welfare and We Are Teachers have teamed up together to bring lesson plans, printables, teaching guides, and lesson plans that teach our students the importance of preserving wildlife.  The materials have been developed with different age groups in mind.  Teaching lessons are available for grades K- 2,
3 - 5, and 6 - 8.  Each curriculum contains a student magazine, a teaching guide, lesson plans, and an age appropriate video.  I will be focusing on the  grade 6-8 curriculum, but you will find a consolidated list of links to all components of each grade level at the end of this post.

The threats to wildlife and Earth's fragile ecosystems are real.  Many of these threats, if not most, are from human causes.  The "Keep Wild Animals Wild" curriculum focuses on the important ecological concepts of habitat destruction, climate change, the commercial wildlife trade, poaching, and how the extinction of one species can affect the entire ecosystem.

As stated above, each curriculum has several components:  A teaching video, a student magazine, a teaching guide, and lesson plans.  Let's take a look at each component.

First, the teaching video.  This is a 26-minute video, which is the perfect length for middle school students.  The video is packed with fantastic footage of wild animals in their natural habitats.  Students from around the world are included which gives a rich cultural flavor to the video.

Highlights and concepts covered in the video include:

  • Differences between wild and domesticated animals.
  • What happens when wild animals are kept in captivity.
  • The illegal wildlife trade.
  • The effects of logging and habitat destruction.
  • The role of animals in the ecosystem.
  • How the loss of biodiversity effects all populations in an ecosystem.
  • What we can do to protect the animals on Earth.
When this teaching video is used in combination with the printable student magazine, these wildlife and environmental lessons will really come to life!

Click image to download student magazine for grades 6 - 8.

The student magazine is 20 pages in length.  I read it from top to bottom and found it to be entertaining, engaging, colorful, and extremely informative. The magazine is packed with great photos, animal facts, age appropriate vocabulary terms and interesting infographics.  If you are required to demonstrate the teaching of common core standards, this magazine is a great source for informational text readings.  Your students are going to love both the video and the magazine!

And what has been included for the teacher?  Just everything to make your lesson planning stress free!  There are two separate documents to be used by teachers:  A Teaching Guide/Program Overview and a Lesson Plan Guide.

The 18-page Teaching Guide/Program Overview provides just what you need to put together a fantastic unit for your students.

Click image to download Teaching Guide.

Highlights include:

  • An introduction to the curriculum.
  • Rationale for the "Keep Wild Animals Wild" program.
  • Objectives.
  • An overview of the curriculum components for the three different age groups.
  • How to teach sensitive issues.
  • Activities.
  • Pre- and Post-assessments.
  • Worksheets.
  • Answer Keys.

And, finally, this brings us to the Lesson Planning Guide.  This 22-page guide brings you instructional goals, lesson objectives, essential questions, discussion, activities, reflections, and extensions.  Lesson plans are included for 9 separate lessons.

Click image to download the Lesson Plan guide.

Folks, to put it simply ..... These are quality materials.  Your students are going to benefit from these lessons, and you are helping to develop well-rounded science students who will possess the knowledge and skills needed to make important decisions about the environment when they are older.  It's win-win all the way around.

Remember, the links above are for the grade 6-8 materials.  Here are links to all grade levels:

Students ages 5 to 7 (grade K-2) are introduced to the concepts of what makes an animal wild and how people can observe and appreciate wildlife responsibly.
o   Lesson plans
o   Student magazine
o   K-2 Video

Students ages 8 to 10 (grade 3-5) learn about wildlife trade, how it is relevant to them, and how they can take action to help protect wild animals from wildlife trade.
o   Lesson plans
o   Student magazine
o   3-5 video 

Students ages and 11 to 14 (grade 6-8) also learn about wildlife trade and its relevance to their world.
o   Lesson plans
o   Student magazine
o   Classroom poster
o   6-8 video   

Get your students excited about the curriculum by using this great classroom poster.

Click image to download poster.

Many thanks to We Are Teachers and the International Fund for Animal Welfare for providing these valuable resources to our students.  Enjoy!

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