Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Animal Units

We hiked down below our property to look at the bones from a deer that died in summer. The girls identified the jawbone, teeth, vertebrae and skin. We talked about how it might have died and what animals may have benefited from that.

I went over a list of animals in North America that are listed as endangered. The girls each chose one to represent on a poster. We discussed reasons for their decline including natural cycles, direct human contact and indirect damage through the environment. We would love to go to the South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls but they are not open to the public at this time (according to their website).

Ella's unit pointed out different ways that animals can defend themselves. One exercise involved making puppets, colouring them and then finding a spot in the house where they would be camouflaged. Ivy also participated by making her own additional puppets. The girls then proceeded to script a play, make a backdrop and perform it for the family.

There is a buffalo field near our home but on the morning of our visit they were at the far side of the enclosure so we did not get a good look. They were so far away that they might actually have been cows. In any case, we read up on the many ways that First Nations used the whole buffalo. Eating the raw brain got the most reaction from all of us but using the tongue as a hairbrush was fascinating. It lead to a discussion of how we raise/consume meat. What is ethical consumption? Do we want to eat meat at all if practices are unhealthy & wasteful? Great discussion with no easy answers.

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