“We are extremely fortunate to be living in the United States, a country with such opportunity and high quality of living.” This is one of the messages that teacher, Ms. Linda Cook, conveyed to her middle school students in lessons about habitats. Each week, Ms. Cook’s class watched different videos from the Discovery Channel series “Human Planet” on the classes’ SMART Board. This show describes the lifestyle of people living in different types of environments around the globe.
The students viewed stories about different environments including the arctic, deserts, and rainforests. Most recently, the class watched a video based in the mountains of Ethiopia. A very engaged student, Henry, was intrigued by a boy in the video who lived in the Ethiopian mountains. The boy had to fight off wild monkeys who were trying to steal his food. Henry was really touched and felt sad that the boy had to fight for his own food.
After the video, the class discussed what they learned. The learning is then translated into a dynamic hands-on activity constructing 3D versions of these environments. After brainstorming ideas for construction and materials, student teams built models of their habitats. Experimental learning results in a better understanding of how different people live around the world.