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PYP students convince community to save endangered species
A trip to the zoo turned into an ongoing service project for Primary Years Programme (PYP) students at St Ann Catholic School, in West Palm Beach, USA.
As part of the ‘Sharing the Planet’ unit, students were involved in a week-long learning experience at the Palm Beach Zoo where they learned about animal care and conservation.
For their summative assignment, students became animal activists and created a visual presentation, suggesting practical ways people can save endangered species in Florida. Their aim was to persuade others to make the world a better place, says PYP Coordinator Denise Lawrence.
But the class felt so strongly about preserving wildlife that they took their assignment a step further, and shared their presentations with people outside of the school community to raise awareness. They also sent emails and made videos, posters and flyers for parents, the local library and the doctor’s office.
Posters reminded drivers to slow down to protect the Florida panthers, which are an endangered species. More panthers die from speeding cars in Florida than any other way, says Lawrence.
“The posters displayed in St Mary’s hospital promoted conservation efforts for sea turtles and encouraged participation through beach clean ups and turtle adoptions. Some families and teachers responded by adopting turtles through the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Jupiter, in Florida,” says Lawrence.
The students demonstrated the attributes of the IB learner profile by being inquirers, knowledgeable and caring. For example, during the unit, they asked questions and learned about classifying animals, adaptations, habitats, and food chains, endangered species, and how humans, the environment and animals are interconnected, and our responsibility to caring for the environment.
Since the project, students are continuing their efforts in many ways. For example, one student is becoming a foster care volunteer with an animal shelter, and another held an animal drive to collect donations for a local shelter. Some have adopted animals while another student made wolf-shaped sweets with his mother and sold them to raise money to adopt a Mexican Grey Wolf.
“A student who was a reluctant reader developed a love of reading after he began checking out books and reading material on sharks, whales and other animals from the school library,” says Lawrence.
This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter @IBorganization #IBcommunitystories. Share your great stories and experiences: email firstname.lastname@example.org.