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Review: Elephants – Never Forget

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The International Federation for Animal Welfare (IFAW) works to protect habitats, reduce commercial exploitation of wild animals, and provide emergency relief to animals in distress. In 2011 actor Leonardo DiCaprio agreed to lead the IFAW cause of protecting endangered elephants. On the IFAW Animal Action educational website (www.ifaw.org/canada/our-work/education/teachers) the plight of these emotional, intelligent creatures is told. The site includes a wide range of educational material, including an interactive poster, background scientific/zoological data and clear explanations of the role of elephants in their ecosystems. Contemporary issues such as the impact of climate change on elephant habitat and the banning of the sale of ivory are also explained. Educational packs for elementary and middle school students contain teacher instructions, student materials such as worksheets, readings, simulations and field studies to help students connect to their local ecosystems.

According to the IFAW, in 1979 there were around 1.3 million elephants on the planet; today there are approximately 500,000. This comprehensive site approaches the complex problem of elephant endangerment with an insightful and factual approach. The fantastic images and stories of elephant family life can also help young people to make an emotional connection with these impressive giants. Ideas for youth activism on this issue can help build a new generation of young people who can make a difference.

 International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), 2011, website & education pack (pdf), available for free from www.ifaw.org/canada/our-work/education/teachers

Reviewed by Ethel Johnston

From Green Teacher 99, Spring 2013