Educational Framework of "Herd of Elephants?"

Maggie's third adventure is set in Angola. This African country has been the scene of a civil war for years. Some may wonder why this war-torn country was chosen for Maggie's African adventure. We feel it is essential to show children how people are taking positive steps, even in controversial areas, that directly benefit local people and their environment. The elephant transfer project described in "Herd of Elephants?" is actually taking place in the Quicama National Park 60 miles south of Angola's capital, Luanda. This is a concrete example of how world leaders, environmentalists and biologists are taking action in a creative way to solve not only scientific problems, but societal difficulties as well. The inclusion of local people to help improve their own situation is an essential component of this project, and we believe it is an example of how the global community can integrate resources to affect positive change.

Included in this unit is a complete chapter guide to Lions at Lunchtime, a Magic Tree House book, by Mary Pope Osborne. You will find vocabulary development activities, higher order comprehension skill development, and writing suggestions for your young readers. We also offer many articles that develop reading skills in the content areas. You will find a variety of suggested follow-up activities for each of these nonfiction selections.

The development of nonfiction writing skills is a key ingredient of this mission. We present models of scientific writing in Maggie's Field Guide found in the mission area of the site. Animal facts are then provided in the Teacher's Lounge for students to write their own guidebook descriptions following the model.

Our popular math journaling situations are integrated into the African theme and offer students the chance to formulate conclusions based on math calculation and scientific concepts. We also provide a number of conversion problems so that students will develop an understanding of both the metric and the English systems of measurement.

Your students are sure to find the Dichotomous key activity, housed in Maggie's microscope located in the mission area, fascinating and informative. It is a good interactive example of how actual scientists classify animals. Other motivating activities include learning about biomes and animals that inhabit specific types of areas. Of course, included in this mission, is a range of material about endangered animals. In keeping with the goal of Miss Maggie's Earth Adventures, we not only describe problems, but also show students how the world community is actively working together to solve these problems.

The activities included with this adventure will not only develop your students' skills in curricular areas, but they will also come away with a better understanding of how people can help one another and their environment.