A friend of mine shared a YouTube video last week, and after I watched it I told myself that I simply had to share it with my students. The video was made by a brilliant animator who felt so empassioned by humans' disregard for nature and its wonderful inhabitants. The creator, Steve Cutts, has put together a very clever allegorical tale of how we, as the human race, have walked on the planet solely for our own needs, and without any consideration for animals.
I first made a Blendspace, which can be seen here
So, my intention was to get students to critically think about themselves, and how muchtheir own attitude to animals mirrored that of the film creator and director. I pre-empted the video with a predictive question of what the video would be about. I then asked for some examples that prove humankind treats the animal kingdon with respect. I asked if anyone knew what had happened to the DodoBurd. There was not one student able to do so. I concluded that even the importance of knowing what has happened to extinct animals is being excluded from natural history and science lessons.
Finally, the students wrote on Edmodo about the video and its really powerful (and embarrassing) message. These are the responses from a small group of Turkish 15yr olds, who have been learning English for only 8 months... (no editing therein)
Remember, the Dodo was an animal that we wiped off the face of the Earth 375 years ago. It seems like we want all species to go extinct in the same way. We MUST stop the insatiable desire for "progress" at the expense of the animal kingdom. Showing your students such videos may not directly help save the animals, but it might start to make our youth more aware of the faults our ancestors began, and we still continue today.