Here at ARKive, we love teachers and there’s no better time to share the love than during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6, 2011. We recognize the pivotal role of teachers in the educational development of students around the world and strive to create resources, lesson plans and activities on ARKive Education to support educators in the classroom.
We’ve heard from teachers in nearly every subject from science and technology to history and art that regularly use ARKive in their curriculum and thought we’d highlight a few of our favorite experiences with some exceptional teachers around the US.
Learning in Washington, DC libraries
Working with local school teachers and librarians in Washington, DC, ARKive staff organized an event called “ARKive: Where Endangered Species Come Alive” where students participated in a variety of imagery-based activities to learn about endangered species conservation. A favorite of the younger students was the “Where’s its habitat?” activity where we provided a small snapshot of a species from ARKive in the center of an otherwise blank page and asked the students to finish drawing its habitat. The students definitely came up with some creative homes for their species!
Math and measurements in Virginia
We love working with the teachers at Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences in Virginia to playtest different activities with students before we add them to ARKive Education. In the newly created (and still testing out) Measurement Box activity, we used a regular craft box and cut three holes in one side to feed through different lengths of string. Each length of string corresponded with the size of an animal on ARKive: the giant anteater, the wingspan of the wandering albatross and the American crocodile. To help put the size of these species into perspective, the teachers suggested the students lie on the floor, head to foot – it was quite a sight to see the length of a giant anteater in third graders!
Continent studies in Chicago
ARKive staff had a blast playtesting the “ARKive Geographic: Biodiversity around the World” activity with students at Bouchet Math and Science Academy in Chicago, Illinois for a pilot project recently. With the help of teachers, we introduced important definitions of conservation such as the meaning of biodiversity, species, habitat and ecosystem and challenged the students to populate a world map of biodiversity on earth with small, colorful species fact cards. When teachers asked the students what was the most interesting species they learned about, the Tennent’s leaf-nosed lizard and the Japanese giant salamander were clear favorites.
We appreciate teachers across the country and the world who encourage students today to be the conservationists of tomorrow. Visit ARKive Education to see our current list of education resources, lesson plans and games and be sure to thank a teacher this week!
Liana Vitali, ARKive Science, Education and Outreach Officer, Wildscreen USA