Don’t buy their lives

Aims

"I have never thought it would be so soft" children examine a snake

“We are committed to educate children about animals, their habitats, and how humans can help to protect and conserve the world's natural resources” – says the teacher of the Zoo. The goal of Kaunas Zoo's Education Department is to increase understanding of and responsibility for local and global animal species and ecosystems, strengthening the bonds between people and the living earth. Disabled children are also incorporated into this project which helps them to integrate into society.

Argument for inclusion

Nature is our home. This saying is very popular and one must act there as at home. Children are our future and they must be taught to preserve nature as they found it. These are the main things that motivated teachers to have classes at the Zoo about nature. Research tasks for this REC were chosen according to the age of the groups and they have attractive forms (table games, questionnaires) allowing children to get acquainted with nature and fauna and to explore negative factors why flora is polluted and fauna is destroyed.


Relevant information in short

Main Research Partners

Project CITES, Lithuanian schools, Project Scanagri Denmark

Educational partners

Ministry of Science and Education, Lithuania,

Other partners

Kaunas municipality

Age classes

From 5 to 18

Thematic orientation

Biology, nature, environment, medicine

Main Focus

To study scientifically the phenomenon of nature, to introduce children with the vanishing species of animals and birds and the reasons of their decline and to teach children how to protect nature

Duration of activity

Since 2005

Resources

Kaunas Municipality, Education department, Zoo administration

Website

www.zoosodas.lt

Contact person

Violeta Lazarevičienė


Context and conditions

children with teacher and horse

The ecologist of the Zoo got the information from Project CITES and Project Scanagri, Denmark about the work they are doing at their institutions. V.Lazareviciene, the ecologist at the Zoo with the support of administration, equipped the classroom at the Zoo and applied for the help to Kaunas municipality. She got the approval for the educational work at the Zoo. Almost all secondary school children from Lithuania come to the Zoo to have classes of biology and nature. If the school has no opportunity to come there, teacher V.Lazarevičiene takes the stands and other additional materials and comes to school to deliver the lectures.

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Activities and Contents

The project is taking place both inside (in the classroom of the Zoo), and outside (in the Zoo). The photos clearly show that. The attraction to nature phenomena ad the skills of observation, analysis, and research re encouraged from the young children.

Methodologies

butterfly

Different materials are prepared for the different age groups: games and puzzles about negative influence to nature and its protection are for younger children who don’t have reading skills; the material about the inhabitants of the zoo are for the older children. Teachers are only the advisors there.

The puzzle “Butterfly”

Curriculum relevance

anti fur poster

The stands at the classroom

The ecological knowledge children learn at school in biology, environment, zoology, and the basis of scientific research are relevant in this REC and they are useful for the selection of further studies. Children learn to study scientifically nature phenomenon, describe them, and interpret, which is very useful for further studies at the university.

Other outcomes

The observations and investigation are summarized and presented at school conferences in a form of paper, stand, or report.

children's drawings

Pictures from the project webpages