How One Class of First Graders Responded to the Illegal Ivory Trade

This week is Explorers Week, when National Geographic brings together some of the most interesting scientists and explorers making a difference in the world today.

In honor of the occasion, the Education team challenged a group of local teachers to design an end-of-year project focusing on one of National Geographic’s 2016 Emerging Explorers. We’ll be sharing their class’ stories all week on the Education Blog.

Educator: Juan Samperio

Emerging Explorer StudiedGao Yufang

Grade Level: 1

School: Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

Juan on his class’ project:

My students first learned where China was located on the global map. After we debriefed on China and a little bit of the culture, I told them about our explorer and his job. I talked to them about the effects of the ivory industry on elephants. I also showed them a short video from the National Geographic site about the ivory industry. My students became really concerned about the issue, and we drafted ideas.

We very recently finished a unit on persuasive writing so my students decided to write cards—asking Gao Yufang questions, directly addressing members of the ivory trade, and suggesting ways we can all help the elephants. My school is a bilingual charter school and most of my students wrote in English and Spanish.

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Want more Explorers Week brain food? Join us here or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for our Explorers Week 2016, June 13-17. It’s an exciting opportunity to connect with National Geographic scientists, conservationists, and storytellers. Learn about their latest discoveries and adventures, participate virtually in inspiring presentations, and join the important conversation about how we can all make a difference in our world.

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