'I CARE': an Italian school's special project on endangered animals

"This year our school has dealt with the theme of the emotions through a Learning Unit (Unità Di Apprendimento) named:

“I care about… our special attention towards endangered animals”

This is the name of the project proposed by me to the class 1C of the middle school “Santomauro”, located in Bari, in Apulia (in the south-east of Italy).

Why do I choose to propose such a topic to my pupils?

The reason is simple.

We often listen to some organizations promoting actions in favour of right causes.

But… how are we really interested in themselves?

Starting from the study of the animal kingdom and its division, later I took into account the possibility of a very simple project to be realized with common efforts and contributions of each pupil. The result has been the choice of an endangered animal and the illustration of all the features connected to it.

So the work has been divided into three steps through the creation of seven groups, made up of three/four pupils.

The steps have been the following:

  1. Choice of an endangered animal, explanation of the reason why it is considered at risk, the features of the habitat, its favourite food and research of some photos representing it.
  2. Realization of a fact file summarizing all the most important information about it.
  3. Explanation of the reason why the group has chosen it and has chosen to protect it. So the sentence “I care about… because… ” justifies how much sensitivity my pupils have shown towards endangered animals.

After following these steps, each group has found the best form to collect and show the work (e.g. Power Point, Keynote etc). Being a digital class, it has been easy to work by using different kind of devices.

The animals chosen by them are: the axolotl, the fishing cat, the koala, the polar bear, the dolphin, the river dolphin, the amur leopard and the jaguar.

Why did they choose these animals?

Let’s listen to the experience shared in the different group and how they worked.

"Our group has chosen the axolotl, because it is a little known animal, but with very nice and weird qualities! It has features and peculiarities that no other animals has!

Our group has worked without any problems, sharing various information about the animal. At the end we have realized a Power Point file and sent it to our teacher."

"We have chosen the fishing cat, because it is the only feline of small size, that swims and hunts only in the water.

Working in a group has been fantastic and we had a lot of fun!"

"Our group has chosen the Koala, because we liked it very much! We did not have any problems, we were able to work together.

All the member of this group have sent their work and finally we have inserted it in the Keynote (using our Ipad). We chose the koala because in appearance it may seem cute and cuddly, but it can prove very aggressive!"

"We chose the polar bear because it is a very nice animal and we wondered about such a fantastic being could be in danger of extinction.

Our group did not have any problems, we divided all the information to be looked for about the polar bear. Later we inserted it in the Keynote and added some transitions to make our work nicer!

In our opinion the polar bear is a beautiful animal and it is at risk for climate change."

"We have chosen the dolphin and the River dolphin, because they are very cute, have a peculiar physical aspect. We could not imagine such species of dolphin risked the extinction!

Therefore, we have chosen to talk to our classmates! On the whole it has been funny to work together: a beautiful experience!

We care about the river dolphin because it is very cute and we do not want it to die out!

We selected the dolphin because it is a beautiful animal with a friendly character. Save the dolphin right now!"

"We have chosen the Amur Leopard and the Jaguar because we love felines and we were sorry about their risk of extinction.

Our group has been very willing and all the members have found all the information about our animals, processed and inserted in the Keynote. We have been happy to have created this work.

The Amur Leopard is endangered because it is hunted and killed for its beautiful spotted fur.

The Jaguar is in danger of extinction for the destruction of the rainforest to make way for industries and land for agriculture."

At the end of this “adventure”, I have informed the Naturewatch Foundation* about this interesting project, since this organization shows a particular attention towards these problems!

It has appreciated our work and our awareness towards endangered animals.

So it has decided to provide a certificate for our contribution!

My pupils have been happy to receive it!

At the end this experience has been funny and interesting! So this has been our contribution for the protection of endangered animals!

A message for all the readers - take notes:

On October 4, let’s promote a special attention towards endangered animals for the World Animal Day! They deserve it! We rely on you!"

Written by teacher, Giusy Altobello, and class 1C of Santomauro Middle School, Bari (Italy).


Why don't YOU get involved in World Animal Day too?

 If YOU work with children, check out our ideas for World Animal Day and how YOUR group can take part!

- July 5, 2021