By the end of this activity, students will:
1) compare basic knowledge requirements of human and animal children.
2) understand the consequences of an animal that is unprepared for its environment.
3) identify basic needs of animals and humans.
4) understand the purpose of education.
Related National Standards
1) Understands significant life decisions and their effect on the present.
1) Understands how various institutions (e.g., social, religious, political) develop
and change over time (i.e., what is taught in school and school policies toward student
behavior have changed over the years in response to family and community pressures), and
how they further both continuity and change in societies.
1) Understands the focus on the school, community, state, and nation in American
society (e.g., people should try to improve the quality of life in their schools,
communities, states, and nation; people should help others who are less fortunate than
they and assist them in times of need, emergency, or natural disaster).
Tools and Materials Needed
1) copy of the program "The Living Edens: Etosha"
2) drawing paper
3) colored pencils, crayons or other media
Estimated Time to Complete Lesson
One to three class periods, including time to watch the video segments. The length
of the activity will depend on the time given to explain the drawings.
Students often have the idea that school is the only place that education occurs. Some
also may think of education as pointless and something that has little relevance in their
lives. In the Living Edens: Etosha program, viewers are given a concept of some of the
training that young animals receive from their parents and the community around them.
Those that learn those lessons and have a little luck will survive to become adults while
those who dont most often will die. Many theorists have examined the importance of
various skills. Harlow Maslow's hierarchy is often used to show that some skills are more
important in the life of a person than others. It is only after one level is satisfied
that the skills of the next level increase in importance. These levels, in order, are:
"Biological," "Safety," "Love and Belonging,"
"Esteem," "Cognitive," "Aesthetic," and
"Self-actualization." Students can be made aware of their place in the human
environment as we watch the young of Etosha learn the lessons that will keep them alive.
1) Watch these selected portions of the Living Edens: Etosha video. Have students take
notes on the skills that each young animal must acquire to live to adulthood. Young lion
hunts but misses prey (located at 4:30 into the program). Young vs. older jackal hunting
doves (located at 5:00 into the program). Young elephants vs. older drinking (located at
13:00 into the program). Young cheetah kills a springbuck (located at 25:00 into the
program). Young springbuck practicing evasion skills (located at 37:30 into the program).
Fate of cheetah family (located at 43:00 into the program. Play for about 10 minutes.).
2) Group the skills into the topics "hunting for food and water,"
"safety," "obtaining shelter," "group behavior" and others
that logically apply.
3) Have groups of students generate a list of skills that human children need to master
in order to live as an adult.
4) Write the list on the board or handout sheet eliminating duplicates and combining
5) Have student groups rank the list from most important to least important.
6) Group the responses into topics. Suggested topics, using appropriate language, are
"Biological" (air, water, food, shelter, sex, sleep), "Safety"
(protection from elements, disease, fear), "Love and Belonging,"
"Esteem" (self-esteem and esteem by others), "Cognitive" (knowledge,
meaning, inquiry, order), "Aesthetic" (beauty, balance, form),
"Self-actualization" (realizing potential, "becoming everything you can
be," having "peak" experiences of being).
7) Conduct a discussion concerning the following:
a) where student education occurs and the need for education.
b) why adults are concerned with progress of students.
c) changes in skills that were needed in the past, the present and in the future.
8) Assign each student to draw an outline picture of a fully prepared student who has
graduated from high school and use words or pictures to indicate what the student has
learned on the inside of the outline. Each student will explain his or her drawing to the
Helpful Web Sites
Life Skills Standards
This Web site from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Department of
Education, lists national life skill standards.
Students may be assessed though their participation in the class discussions.
Scoring the explanations of the component parts during the class presentation using a
rubric may be used to evaluate the picture. A paper may be assigned on the topic of
"Education: Do the Experiences of Today Prepare a Child for the Future?" or
"If You Were in Charge, What Would Students in School Have to Learn?"
1. Have students ask people of different ages (parents, grandparents, others) to
identify the most important things they have learned in their life. Compile the results
for different age ranges.
2. Survey teachers of different courses and grade levels to determine what they think
are the most important things they teach during a school year. Compare the results to the
different categories of needs.