4 Powerful Resources About Poaching

Anna Starecheski

We are so excited about our trio of texts in the March/April issue of Storyworks Jr. We've got a nonfiction feature about a baby elephant who was rescued after her mother was killed by poachers, an informational text about how drones are being used to stop poaching, and a beautiful poem about humans' complicated relationship with elephants. We hope that these texts inspire your students to learn more about the problem of poaching, and we want to help you guide them on that journey. Here are four powerful extensions to keep the learning going on this complex topic.

TO RESEARCH: A website about other endangered species

TO DO: A research project

This page on the WWF website allows you to click around and learn about other endangered animals. The page for each species has a lot of info, so you may need to guide students through the site.

LEARNING TASK: Divide students into groups and have each group pick an animal (preferably not elephants or rhinos, since that's what we cover in our articles) from the website. Each group should prepare a presentation about their chosen animal: What are the threats facing them? Are these threats caused by humans? What are humans doing to help them? What else can be done? 

TO READ: A book about a rhino—written by kids!

TO DO: A creative writing assignment.

This remarkable book, "One Special Rhino: The Story of Andatu," was written by a fifth grade class in Brooklyn, NY. The children tell the story of Andatu, the only Sumatran rhino to be born in captivity. 

LEARNING TASK: The children wrote this book from the point of view of Andatu. Have your students write a similar story from the point of view of Ishanga, the elephant featured in our story.

TO WATCH: A delightful video about elephant communication

TO DO: A class discussion

This video of elephants at play, overlaid with the voice of elephant biologist Joyce Poole, is absolutely adorable. It also demonstrates how elephants communicate with one another.

LEARNING TASK: Lead a class discussion about what students noticed while watching the video. Ask: How do elephants communicate? How does it compare to how we communicate as humans? How did watching this video help you understand elephants?

TO EXPLORE: An infographic about the differences between Asian and African elephants

TO DO: A compare and contrast activity

This site is a good starting point to see the differences between Asian and African elephants, but we encourage you to explore many photos of Asian and African elephants so that your students can really see the difference!

LEARNING TASK: Once students have been familizarized with the differences and similarities between Asian and African elephants, have them do a compare and contrast activity. They can do a Venn diagram, draw pictures, or write a short paragraph. 

We hope that these extensions keep the learning going in your classroom, and as always, let us know if you came up with any genius learning extensions while working on the March/April issue with your students!

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