A wildlife specialist’s visit exposed Dorset students to career possibilities and got them asking how they could make a difference.
Christiane Laframboise, Stephanie Côté and a third teacher, Nancy Harwood, all run an environmental club at Dorset Elementary School in Baie d’Urfé. That interest carries over into their classrooms. Recently, Christiane and Stephanie wanted to develop their students’report-writing abilities in both languages. Reinforcing each other’s efforts, they combined the English language arts and French curricula with a common project on wildlife.
The two teachers added a GOAL component when they took advantage of an offer to have Amelia Page speak to their students about the environmental work she was doing. Amelia is a new graduate of Vanier College’s Environmental and Wildlife Management program.
Amelia told the kids why it wasn’t just cats and dogs that needed care. She explained how the well being of wild animals depended on their natural habitats being preserved and how wetlands allowed birds to rest and feed during long migrations.
“When the presentation was over, the kids didn’t want to leave,” says Christiane. “They wanted to know how they could get involved. They also learned about different job opportunities. Kids who had talked about being a vet or working with horses were now excited about polar bears in the Arctic.”
And what about improving their research and writing skills? “Even today, my students were talking in class about how they want to write letters about not destroying wetlands,” notes Christiane. “So now we have more research to do about wetlands in our area and who we should write to.”