Curious George and African Animals

So I’m playing with what we can do to expand interest in African animals sparked by Curious George.

We started last week with looking through some pictures on Earth Album. We decided to look for a monkey and found a picture that reminded us of Curious George, so we made a powerpoint page with him on it. D1 typed in "Curious George" and D2 typed the species name. (Actually I looked it up later and it was a chimpanzee. But it did look curious.)

Yesterday (Wednesday) I let them watch some footage from Africam. It was dark at the time so there wasn’t much to watch on the live cams. Instead we watched some saved footage of a lion taking a drink. They noted the way it licked its lips as it drank. They then wanted to watch lions eating. I warned them that lions ate other animals, like giraffes, but they were still interested. They enjoyed it thoroughly. (Not bloodthirsty, exactly, but they’re certainly not overly sensitive.)

I have a couple of books on hold about African animals and about the zoo–not sure which way those will go or if they will intersect. Their cousins did a fun project of making their own zoo; or of course making a model jungle would be fun, too. I think we have some pictures of animals they could use. The question is how to make them aware of the possibilities without taking over. I think first I’ll help them compile a "building box" and then we’ll talk about different things people have done so they can make their own plans.

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