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Summer SAVY 2019: Session 2, Day 4 – Ecological Expedition (Rising 3rd/4th)

Posted by on Thursday, June 20, 2019 in Grade 3, Grade 4, SAVY.

Today was definitely one of our most fun and memorable days as professionals from the Nashville Zoo joined us! We had the privilege of listening to a trainer, veterinarian, and an educator talk about the clouded leopard exhibit and breeding program. Several of our students said they were even interested in working for the zoo one day, and they are looking forward to volunteering there as early as 10 years old! If you child is interested in possibly working for a zoo one day, contact the zoo about volunteer opportunities!

Having the zoo come and talk with us today was a perfect experience to enhance our focus of the day! The debatable question that had students debating like crazy was, “Should animals be kept outside of their natural habitats?” Many of the students had been to zoos before, but they had never thought about the effects of taking animals from their natural surroundings.

We began our journey by reading Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate. It’s about a silverback gorilla that was taken from his home at an early age, and his unique journey outside of the tropical forests of Africa. Not only did students analyze how the story elements interacted to promote meaning within this story, but they also observed the long term implications of taking animals from their homes. Students continued to research our debatable question by studying other animals’ situations like Ivan’s. Each animal’s story was a great reflection of how interactions allow for change.

After lunch students were presenting with a project involving research, problem-solving skills, and a lot of creativity! Each group chose an animal to research and build a futuristic enclosure for The Zoo of the Future!

Task: Design a safe zoo enclosure that will meet the animal’s basic needs (food, activity, shelter), and enriches the animal’s life in three ways.

The students have been working hard all week, and have truly grown into ecologists! They cannot wait to share and show you some of their projects they have been working on! Looking forward to Open House tomorrow!

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