This student-led activity will help you to start things off on the right foot. What better way to get the ball rolling than with a festival? We will help you keep up the momentum each week with carefully selected lesson plans and resource sheets, all leading up to the very best part - National Wildlife Week!
This activity gives students an opportunity to showcase their work in previous lessons, while giving wildlife and protected areas a valuable public-awareness boost. Students will feel a sense of accomplishment and have a focus for their efforts.
Hosting a festival or celebration is also a way to offer older students a chance to develop leadership skills. In organizing the event, they might ask peers for ideas, set priorities, facilitate group decisions, delegate tasks, manage checklists and deadlines, communicate with other teams and team leaders, and follow up on plans.
- Prepare by selecting a date (or possible dates) and location that meets your needs. This may coincide with another school event, such as an assembly or barbecue.
- Set the stage. Introduce students to the idea of a festival as you begin other lessons in the unit. Discuss the theme for National Wildlife Week, and the role a festival can play in raising public awareness about wildlife and wilderness issues. Explain that the students will be doing projects they can showcase to parents, peers, and others.
- Introduce general team job descriptions as they apply to the scale and complexity of the event you are planning. We suggest you also require each individual or group identify at least one activity to the festival program team.
- Select teams and team leaders appropriate to the tasks required for your event. Give out appropriate job descriptions and checklists to each team. (See “A Student Leadership Approach to Festival Organization”). Set deadlines and schedule key update meetings with the teams. Give them time to meet and plan how they will carry out their tasks.
- Try other activities from this unit, paying special attention to the section entitled "Festival Follow-up" to help you develop performances, displays, and activities for the event.
- Monitor teams as they publicize the festival and plan the program.
- Bring all the teams together to host and run the event.
- Involve everyone in clean-up and follow-up.
- Reward the students with a pizza party, ice cream, or cake.
Have students photograph and/or videotape your event or create an online version of your festival complete with projects. Send pictures and information to CWF.
Students should be able to describe a range of special wild places and describe why they should be protected. They should be able to describe the role public awareness campaigns play in protecting personal and societal values. Student projects will provide materials for evaluation. The job descriptions and task checklists for planning and running the festival will also provide criteria for evaluating students.
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