Educational Framework of "Herd of Elephants?"
Part 2

The exciting conclusion of "Herd of Elephants?" finds an equally exciting array of educational material in both the interactive components of the mission and in our Teachers' Lounge. Focusing on folk tales of Africa and the concept of patterning, educators are sure to find meaningful activities to support their curriculum and to meet student needs.

Patterning is a theme running throughout this mission. Teachers will find patterning in traditional math activities in addition to the many language, science, and cultural arts interactive and printable offerings.

Our Language Arts section includes two important studies: an author/theme study and newly released Zulu folktales with engaging and meaningful follow up activities.

You will find a detailed guide on how to conduct an author/theme study along with integrated activities supporting a variety of goals and objectives. This type of literary study is becoming popular as educators strive to teach required content in an increasingly burdened school day. Maggie's Author Study offers an extensive annotated bibliography of easy to obtain folktale books, correlated activities using the multiple intelligences approach, and open-ended charts for easy classroom use. This approach is sure to help teachers present many necessary concepts and skills and will help students discover connections among curricular areas.

The eleven folktales included in the language arts section are designed to help students develop an appreciation for varied world literature. Increasingly, schools are recognizing the need to encourage student respect for our multi-cultural society. These folktales, told by members of a Zulu tribe, will help students appreciate the rich themes of African literature. The on-line recorder offers the first few lines of folktales for your auditory learners. Maggie's Earth Adventures hopes this will serve as motivation for further reading of the printed version of the tale available in the Teachers' Lounge. Follow up activities for this unit are based on the multiple intelligences approach with an emphasis on understanding character traits and how these traits can be seen even in the world of the school. A multitude of journaling suggestions are offered to encourage student self-reflection and personal growth.

An array of expressive language activities, both in the folktale selections and in the on-line mission, will help students identify and use literary forms such as personification, metaphor, and simile. These language patterns are presented in the fun, interactive mission activity based on the baobab tree and use of expressive language is encouraged in personal writing projects.

Math patterning takes center stage as students interact with patterning games during Maggie's mission and in her mission pack devices. The traditional print activities of spotting matching patterns and detecting AABBCC type patterns come alive on the computer screen. Snakes, sporting skin of various patterns, wiggle past as students try to continue the pattern. Maggie Spies, found in the on-line compass, helps primary students detect pattern likenesses and differences. Intermediate level activities using patterning are found in the Teachers' Lounge. Explorations using Fibonacci's sequence and patterns in calculations are presented. These activities are designed to help older students see the importance and benefit of patterning.

Our on-line field guide in Part Two focuses on reptiles and amphibians of Africa. Students can "click and learn" about characteristics of creatures such as the African Clawed Toad and Puff Adder. Science classification articles help students see the PATTERNS Carolus Linneaus used in his famous classification system. Students can read about living things from monerans to mammals and then refer to this cleverly designed guide to see patterns in specific species. An understanding of how nature uses patterning is developed using two fascinating creatures - the chameleon and the giraffe. Students will add to their growing base of scientific facts by playing the mission game designed to teach more about chameleons. The compass shows students how the unique patterns on a giraffe's coat can be used to identify the geographical home of individual animals!

Animals aren't the only living things with patterns. Under the microscope, your students will use the dichotomous key to spot patterns in tree leaves. This interactive activity gives students a good understanding of how botanists use natural patterns in their daily work. Students can extend the concept by completing many of the printable activities about African trees and plant-life in their own schoolyard. These multi-disciplinary offerings are found in all of the curricular sections of the Teachers' Lounge.

It is by design that our activities integrate disciplinary areas. Students learn best when they see connections between concepts and skills from different curricular areas. We strive to model a global perspective in all we present. The setting of Angola for this mission and the real-life elephant transfer project give us the opportunity to highlight what people and organizations are doing to make a difference in the world. Students are motivated to learn when they understand their contributions will make a difference for people and the environment.