World Wildlife Day is a global event celebrated every year on March 3rd to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving wildlife. Elementary students have a unique opportunity this month to reflect on the importance of wildlife conservation and take action in their own communities.
Raising Awareness about the Urgency of Wildlife Conservation
Through art, elementary students can showcase their understanding of the importance of wildlife conservation and the impact humans have on our environment. They can create paintings, sculptures, or collages that depict endangered animals and their habitats and help raise awareness about the need for conservation efforts.
Encourage Others to Take Action
Art is a powerful medium for conveying emotional messages, and more importantly, encouraging people to take action. Students can create posters or murals that promote sustainable living, such as reducing plastic waste, conserving water, and supporting environmentally friendly practices. This can help educate people about how their actions impact wildlife and the environment.
Explore and Express Our Connection with Nature
Finally, art can be a way for students to self-reflect and express their personal connection to nature. By creating art that reflects their own experiences and emotions, students can inspire others to appreciate and value our natural world.
Here are some interesting and meaningful projects and lesson plans from the web which encourage the use of art to promote awareness for wildlife conservation:
Save the Gorillas Curriculum Project
Art of Conservation, the US-registered non-profit organisation, was founded in 2006 in Rwanda. Their goal is to "help children and local communities develop a stronger awareness of their responsibility towards biodiversity conservation through an integrated art, science, and personal health curriculum".
The organisation collaborates with local communities to develop innovative educational programs and community-based conservation initiatives, incorporating the ideas and perspectives of those who live in the area. Their curriculum is centred around the protection of the endangered mountain gorilla.
Click here to review their conservation-inspired education materials.
Sketch for Survival (Junior) by Explorers Against Extinction
Explorers Against Extinction is a conservation charity registered in the UK. The charity is dedicated to restoring ecosystems and recovering key species through partnerships with frontline projects all around the world. In addition to their support of reforestation and habitat protection projects, Explorers Against Extinction raises funds through the sale of original art and photography. Thanks to these efforts, the charity has been able to provide valuable support to multiple frontline projects.
Sketch for Survival Junior is a global annual art competition aimed at raising awareness about the issues of species extinction and biodiversity loss. In addition to raising awareness, the project also raises funds to support conservation projects around the world through the sale of artwork created by participating children.
Click here to see how your students and school can participate in the Sketch for Survival Junior competition.
Tessa the Giant Tortoise: A Journey through Galapagos
The Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) is a UK-registered charity that is exclusively dedicated to the conservation of the Galapagos Islands, which are among the most ecologically significant and fragile areas on the planet. As the only organization in the UK with this specific focus, GCT is committed to preserving the unique and unparalleled biodiversity of the Galapagos region for future generations.
The Tessa the Giant Tortoise Activity Set is a fun and child-friendly 13-part educational activity pack for 7 to 11-year-olds. It is based on the work of scientists who have been studying the migration patterns of giant Galapagos tortoises on Santa Cruz Island. The activity pack aims to foster a love of nature and an appreciation for the scientific research that informs our understanding of it.
Click here to learn how to draw a giant Galapagos Tortoise, among many other things!
Animals in Art by the Tate Gallery
Throughout history, animals have been a source of inspiration for countless artists. Whether featured in depictions of rural life, or myths and legends, animals have been incorporated into art in many ways. By exploring animal-themed artworks, we can better understand our connection to wildlife and contemplate how we can better care for animals and the environment.
To that end, the Tate Gallery has compiled a series of hands-on activities and thought-provoking questions designed to encourage you and your class to engage with animal-themed works of art in the Tate collection (and any featured at a gallery or museum in your city).
The questions and topics presented in this activity can be used for art featuring animals in any gallery or country. Click here to find out more.
Multi-disciplinary Teaching Resources Centred Around Animals by the London Zoo
London Zoo is part of a global conservation charity called ZSL. Every visit to the zoo helps fund their work to protect wildlife and restore habitats in over 70 countries. The zoo also does important conservation work on-site, like reintroducing snails and breeding endangered tigers. By visiting the zoo, you are helping support these efforts.
They offer a wide range of educational resources designed to get young minds thinking and spark curiosity about the animal kingdom. Students can explore the incredible diversity of wildlife and become passionate about conservation.
Click here to find out more.
Additional Art Resources
In conclusion, art can be a powerful tool for promoting awareness for wildlife conservation. By encouraging elementary students to create and appreciate art highlighting wildlife's beauty and importance, we can inspire the next generation to value and protect our natural world.
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