Animal Rights and Environmental Organizations: In Honor of Wolf 527
by The Car Family
One sure fire way to get students interested and involved is through using lessons and issues related to the environment and animal rights. I started a 527 Wildlife Club. It was named for the dominate female Yellowstone female wolf that was killed by Ryan Counts of Pray, Montana. The wolf was wearing a radio collar and shortly thereafter most of her group was also killed. This an major kills in Idaho were the result of the gray wolf being removed from the endangered list by the Secretary of the Interior. After reading the story of 527′s life the students were eager to take action. They wrote letters, send petitions, sponsored a wolf at the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, and sent money to Defenders of Wildlife. They were empowering themselves. They were motivated to learn and to use the system appropriately.
When they came to class the regular lessons were waiting and they gulped down the material eagerly after checking what was happening on the current events board and what emails have arrived. This motivation not only rolled into the classroom, but they started to get their parents involved. Clearly, this issue was controversial as many feel that the wolves threaten their livestock and some claim wolves are causing the elk population to fall. Thus it is important to show both sides of the issue. That being said, there are less controversial issues students can adopt, but this issue and the way that 527 was killed stirred a fire under them as few other issues have ever done. Using the teachable moment ideas here, ( http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/teachable-moments.html) I was able to integrate the curriculum, and keep the fires burning while still following the required course of study.
Should you want to see more about what happened here are some articles that may be of interest. Also listed are a variety of environmental links to all types of educational related sites. Very worthwhile and true to the goal of education, which is to provide lifelong learners and good citizens. We even used them to bring in guest speakers to help bring new information to the students.
Photo ffrom Tom Murphy
The story of 527 and her killing:
Here is the site where we adopted a wolf from. There are other wolf adoption sites that may be closer.
The students loved the fact that these wolves were the models for the ones in Twilight-New Moon
Here is a good overall site with many organizations of all types offering educational materials
General environmental organizations
Animal Rights Organizations
Huge link site by issue, animal
Wildlife organizations in alphabetical order
Animal Welfare Sites
Wolf and Wildlife link site
Wolves and Bears
Endangered Animals Worldwide
Rainforest and conservation sites
Weather related sites
Rainforest and trees
Soil and Parks
Native Plant Oragnizations