Students are presented with two conflicting perspectives on how to treat a special wild space. They propose and discuss possible resolutions to the dilemma and create an ending for the story.
Story - versions 1 and 2 (PDF)
Wild animals depend on habitat that provides food, water, and shelter. A large manicured lawn might seem beautiful to us, but it has little appeal for wildlife. A property that combines native flowers, shrubs, and trees, interspersed with logs and rock piles, is a wildlife haven. How should we treat spaces—with lawnmowers and pesticides, or with consideration for our wild neighbours?
This two-part story presents two perspectives on this issue. The objective is to point out that there are differing views in any dilemma. Finding the best solution requires patience, listening, and sincere attempts to understand both sides of the issue.
- Divide the class into groups of 4–5 students. Give each group both versions of the story (Discovery in the Backyard and Mr. Spade Goes to Battle) to read. For younger grades, you may wish to read the stories to them and deal with each perspective as a whole group.
- Assign roughly half of the groups to represent each of the two perspectives. They should discuss why they believe their main character's viewpoint is right, and what they believe should happen next. Have them list their arguments and present them to the class.
- Have the groups switch perspectives and repeat the process.
- Reassemble the class and discuss possible solutions that both sides would be able to accept. Test proposed solutions by asking the students to think about each one from the perspective of both characters. Can they accept the solution?
- Have the students create an ending to the story that reflects their best solution.
Research similar issues concerning local natural spaces, such as pesticide use in public parks, development of open areas, and use of all-terrain vehicles on trails. Have students develop an environmentally-friendly code of conduct for their use of wild spaces.
Students should be able to describe threats to personal special spaces and actions that help to resolve issues.
Students can present their story endings at their celebration or festival. They could create a collage of possible values and threats to local special spaces.
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