Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Sports fans from around the world have their attention focused on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, host of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games.
I haven’t traveled (yet) to Rio de Janeiro, but I was imagining myself in the city’s conservation-minded zoo.
Look closely at a picture of me in front of one of my writer residency schools.
Okay, it’s only a small garden of ground cover near the entrance to a school and yes, the elephant is (only) a stone sculpture but…I’m traveling to Rio’s Zoo through my imagination!
Travel Your Imagination! – Imaginary travel is a popular and effective attentionology trick with elementary school students.
It’s a great way to help kids learn about countries around the world.
Head to Zoo Zones Online – Introduce each country you plan to include in your virtual zoo visits by offering children a ticket.
Choose zoos in countries that carry special meaning for your community or curriculum; ones that offer virtual visits online.
Zoom In! – Put this trick to best use with an enhancement: an online resource that allows your class to zoom in LIVE on zoo zones worldwide!
You can also Google world zoos to discover them.
Australia’s National Zoo in Canberra, the capital, is in Yarralumla at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin, next to Scrivener Dam.
Australian animals, including dingoes, koalas, kangaroos, penguins and Tasmanian devils that reside in the zoo offer visitors exciting educational experiences. Heading back to Brazil…
All Aboard for the Zoo – Yes, you can take the subway train on a virtual tour to Saint Kitts Station and arrive at a huge park and gardens named Quinta da Boa Vista (Portuguese meaning in English: Farm with a good view).
Zoo animals, including the popular giraffe like you see in another of my imaginary travel blog pics here, amble near alleys of palm trees and other native plants.
Brazilian birds take flight in a special wing (no pun intended) of the Rio zoo.
Take kids on a train from South America to Europe via (imaginary) air to Berlin, Germany.
Leave the airport and board a German train to the Berlin Zoologischer Garten railway station (simply known as Zoo).
The Berlin Zoo has a reputation for being the most visited zoo in Europe. Dating back to 1844, this conservation center supports research in Madagascar and is home to globally known animals including the Knut (polar bears).
Olympic Rings Open the World to Children – Every continent that is represented in all five of the Olympic rings has a world-famous zoo.
Challenge upper elementary school students to do research on one zoo in each continent.
Create Writing Activities Based on Zoo Zones – Share my poem (below) with your class or campers; then invite them to write poems of their own about their favorite zoo animals.
At the Zoo
Where else but the zoo can a party of two
mean a lion with a cub, a joey and kangaroo?
As I walk with the animals large and small,
I study their faces; I love them all.
I see steel-eyed wolves, a soft panda bear,
spotted giraffes, noses high in the air.
The zoo fills me with wonder at nature’s way;
if animals could speak, what would they say?
Simply by being they ask us to care,
to preserve nature’s bounty everywhere!
The world has come together for the Olympic Games in Rio and children everywhere are watching.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet