Endangered Animals Day!
Endangered Animals Day. Never heard of it? That’s because it doesn’t exist. But if our Year 8 students have their way, it may do soon. Last year a group of students approached us and said they wanted to do a project on endangered animals. Great idea, we thought, and so for the last few weeks our students have been debating the reasons why animals are endangered, researching and making presentations on their favourite endangered animals, learning the skills of campaigning and, yesterday they met with our local MP to lobby for his support. They are now writing to politicians, animals charities and celebrities to ask for their support too.
It’s been a great project and exemplifies all that I think good teaching and learning is about:
- giving students some choice in what and how they learn;
- focusing on skills as much as knowledge;
- enabling them to take real action, with a real purpose and a real audience.
I have attached below our lesson plans and resources, much of which have been developed by our excellent student teacher, Jonathan Gullis. The lesson plan refers to an introductory film, but I haven’t included it as it is specific to our school. We’d love other schools to take on this project too. If you do so, please drop me a line and the more schools involved, the more likely it is that our students will establish Britain’s first endangered animals day!