Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
Benchmark E.2 Discuss an issue affecting the common good in the classroom or school and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
Benchmark E.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.
This lesson will familiarize students with the Biblical passages that describe the creation of the world. Learners will develop an appreciation for the uniqueness of each species and will inform their school community about the importance of protecting endangered species.
The learner will:
- interpret a Biblical passage from Genesis.
- gather information on an endangered species.
- create informative documents about endangered species.
- Attachment One: Text from Genesis, Chapter 1, Verses 1-27
- Information on endangered species (See Bibliographic References)
- Attachment Two: Help Save These Animals!
- Attachment Three: How’d I Do? Worksheet
- Construction Paper
- Lined Paper
- Drawing Utensils
- Examples of advertisements pulled from magazines
Tell students to take their advertisements and fact sheets home to share with their parents.Have students and parents fill out Attachment Three: How’d I Do? to assess their presentations.
- Navigating the Bible II: Genesis https://bible.ort.org/books/pentd2.asp?ACTION=displaypage&BOOK=1&CHAPTER=1
- Navigating the Bible II: Deuteronomy 22:9-11 https://bible.ort.org/books/pentd2.asp?ACTION=displaypage&BOOK=5&CHAPTER=22
- Kids’ Planet: https://defenders.org/publications
- US Fish and Wildlife Service: https://www.fws.gov/species
- Adopt an animal: https://defenders.org/
Anticipatory Set:Have students sit in a circle.Ask students to explain what the word “unique” means. Explain that every person and thing in the world is unique because no two are alike. Ask students to describe one unique quality of the student on their right that makes him/her add something special to the class.After a couple of minutes of thinking time, go around the circle and have each person share their ideas.
Read Attachment One: Genesis 1:1-27 as a class.Explain that, according to the Bible, the world was created in seven days. Briefly go through each day and ask students to determine what was created on each day.
Tell students to focus on the fifth and sixth days, when all sorts of insects, birds, fish, and animals were created.Ask students to identify a phrase (“particular species”) that repeats itself many times in the verses describing these days.Ask for suggestion of what a species is. If students do not know, explain that scientists put living things into groups based on characteristics that they have in common.A species is a group of living things that has almost everything in common. There are overone and a half million known species in the world.
Ask students if they can think of a reason why the Bible might repeat “particular species” each time.Guide them to understand that this points out how important each unique species is to God and to the world. Refer to the unique characteristics of the students that were mentioned in the anticipatory set. Discuss examples of common species that are unique in a helpful way.
Tell students that there are many laws in Judaism that help keep species separate and unique.Different kinds of animals cannot be used to pull one wagon at the same time, different species of plants cannot be planted together to make a mixed fruit (like a tangerine), and different types of fabrics cannot be combined into one fabric. (See Bibliographic References for link to source in Deuteronomy 22:9-11)
Have each student sit with a partner.Give them 3 minutes to discuss their unique characteristics.Then tell each pair to discuss what it would be like if we combined them into one person. Have a reflective discussion about the activity in which you guide the students to understand that a combination may have some strength, but it loses the uniqueness of the individuals.
Write the term “endangered species” on the board and ask students if they have ever heard that term.Break down the word “endangered” to help them realize that these are species that are in danger.Have the students brainstorm reasons why some species might be in danger, and explain that some species are in danger because of natural reasons, and others are in danger because of things that humans do.Stress that many unique species will be lost forever if humans are not careful.
Explain that we are going to help endangered species by letting the school community know more about them. Arrange students into 3 or 4 groups and assign each group a different endangered species.Distribute information to each group about their animals. (See Bibliographic References for a links to “Kids’ Planet: Defender of Wildlife” and “US Fish and Wildlife Service,” two web sites where information can be obtained about various species.This information can be printed and distributed or shared on-line.)Give students time to read the information with their group.
Distribute Attachment Two: Help Save These Animals! and have students complete the worksheet based on their reading. Allow groups to work together, but insist that each student complete his/her own worksheet so they can use the information later on. As part of this worksheet, students will be asked to make a fact sheet about their species.
Explain that one way to help others remember that something is important is to create a catchy saying, or a slogan, about that item. Have each student make a slogan to “advertise” a unique trait of their species and then create an advertisement that illustrates the slogan.
Share advertisements with class. Depending on the size of the class, this can be done as a group or in small groups where each group has a representative from each of the original species groups.
Send students to explain their advertisements and distribute fact sheets to other classes.
Post advertisements and fact sheets throughout school.
Participation in discussion on Genesis, Attachment One: Genesis 1:1-27 Creations of slogans/advertisements, and presentations