It’s no secret that the ARKive Education team enjoys creating fun, interactive and educational activities using ARKive’s extensive collection of threatened wildlife imagery. But, to be honest, the best part of the job is play-testing all of our new resources with kids in the classroom!
Recently, we’ve launched two new education resources and we couldn’t have done so without first trying them out with helpful educators and eager students. Here’s a look at the newest additions to the ARKive Education teaching resources and a peek into the work that goes into creating them.
ARKive Geographic: Biodiversity Around The World
ARKive Geographic: Biodiversity Around the World introduces students to concepts of biodiversity and helps to open their eyes to the incredible variety of plant and animal species around the globe. The activity consists of custom-made ARKive species cards that are included in the activity pack along with a map of the continents that can be printed as large or as small as the teacher likes to fit the size of the classroom.
By placing the species cards around the world via the continent maps, students get a glimpse of just how biologically diverse Earth really is!
To create this lesson, we worked with a local teacher to iron out the basics of the new activity and then got to work drafting up Teacher’s Notes, a suggested classroom Power Point presentation and any additional handouts for the session. We then visited the teacher’s classroom to play-test the nearly final product and to make any tweaks after the students have completed the activity.
We also play-tested this activity in Chicago during our Biodiversity Quest pilot program.
Lonely Planet: An Introduction to Endangered Species
Who doesn’t like to play a round of Bingo? We’ve found that kids (and adults!) of all ages enjoy this timeless game and when you involve images of species that are rarely seen, it makes it even better. In this new activity, students are introduced to the definition of an endangered species and some of the factors that contribute to a species’ status. After a presentation and class discussion, it’s time to reinforce this new knowledge with a round or two of Endangered Species Bingo!
While working with an educator to create this activity, she mentioned that, instead of putting the letters B-I-N-G-O across the top, why not exchange them with the different species’ conservation statuses: Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered, Extinct. We then filled the columns underneath with species from ARKive that currently have that status. This was a great suggestion and helped students understand the different conservation categories. An even better idea came from one of the students who, while playing the game, suggested the winners shout out ‘ARKive’ instead of ‘Bingo’!
You can find both of these new resources on ARKive Education now. If you use these or any other activities from ARKive Education in the classroom, please tell us about it. We just might publish your story on ARKive to share with other teachers around the world.
Liana Vitali, ARKive Science, Education and Outreach Officer, Wildscreen USA