For some links about the story -
I have had first hand experience of how powerful the internet can be to share children's writing and when linked to a real issue, the impact can be incredible. Read all about the work my class did based around the film Blackfish - Click here.
This is another issue where I feel, given the information, children can produce some thought provoking and passionate writing about a real issue.
Granted, it won't save poor Marius, who has now met his untimely death, but some of the children's writing may make other Zoos reconsider in the future.
With it being internet safety day this week, I think this could be something that shows how far and wide a project like this can spread. This is what I would encourage you to do:
- Share the story with your class, ask them how they feel about it? Is it right/wrong?
- Ask them to list some for/against reasons.
- Share some tweets by searching #marius or Copenhagen Zoo. Use tweets as quotes in their writing.
- Explain to the children how blogging can share children's work with a worldwide audience.
- Suggest that children should write a blog post about their thoughts on this issue, this could be as a persuasive text, discussion, letter to Copenhagen Zoo.
- Publish it on your blog and paste a link below, if you don't blog - take a photo and link it as a tweet:
I think it is important to note that the reason for using this as a focus in class has nothing to do with my personal opinion on the issue. In fact, I wouldn't even share my view with a class. Instead I would present arguments for both sides and allow children to make their own minds up. The real reason for using this issue is that when children have an opinion on something REAL, the chances are their writing will reflect this. They will be more inclined to produce quality writing regardless of their opinion, knowing it is linked to a current news topic and being aware their efforts will be read by a global audience once published on a blog.
Here are some videos made by Year 5 children, using the app Tellagami to discuss the issue: