First grade class completes endangered species research project with presentations
Mrs. Leitsch's first grade class has been working all semester learning about endangered animals and what they can do to help save them. In January, they voted on which five endangered animals listed on the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) site they wanted to work toward helping. The animals chosen were bald eagles, elephants, moose, narwhals, and river otters. The students were split into five groups of four to five students, and each group had an animal they were to research. As part of their research, the students had to read non-fiction information about their animal learning about the animal's habitat, diet, life span, body facts, why it's endangered, and what they can do as individuals to keep it from becoming extinct.
"This is a passion project for me as a nature and animal lover," said Mrs. Leitsch. "Most children share this passion, so I’ve elected to weave into our curriculum. It’s something we all care about and hopefully instills the valuable life lesson of caring for the planet and living things around us. Every year for the past thirteen years I’ve done this with my class, while raising awareness for and supporting the protection of over thirty endangered animals. It’s a great way to bring learning to life while showing young children that they can make a difference in their world."
The students also earned money by doing chores around their homes and were able to symbolically adopt an animal through the World Wildlife Foundation. Mrs. Leitsch submitted each group's money to WWF, and the class received stuffed animals that they were able to keep in the classroom.
At the end of the project, each group presented their research to the entire class. The students enjoyed presenting and hearing the research their peers had done and gained knowledge about how they can each help our environment as a lead up to Earth Day on April 22nd.
The students really got into the project and how they could change our world for the better:
“As first I felt nervous about my presentation, but I did a great job and learned a lot. I helped save the Bald Eagle, which is a symbol of our country, so everyone should know about and care about helping it. Pesticides should be banned!” - Graham Bolin, Bald Eagle group
“My animal group felt very happy about saving endangered animals. My group adopted an elephant calf. Elephants are really good animals and should have the best life they could ever have! We helped them.” - Brooks Burns, Elephant group
"I helped protect endangered Moose by learning about them and adopting one!” - Maliyah Davis, Moose group
“I want people to know that Narwals are friends of the earth and you should treat all living things the way you want to be treated. You should symbolically adopt an endangered animal from W.W.F., just like we did!” - Kyara Taylor, Narwhal group
"I like the River Otter so much and don’t want it to become extinct. I feel so good about helping it!” - Brayden Thompson, River otter group
If you would like to learn more about these endangered animals and what YOU can do to help, please watch the students' presentations below: