The Living Edens-Etosha: Classroom Resources
Education: Passing Enough Knowledge to Survive to the Next Generation

Lesson Objectives
Tools and Materials Needed
Estimated Time to Complete Lesson
Teaching Strategy
Helpful Web Sites
Assessment Recommendations

Lesson Objectives

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

Life Work

1) Understands significant life decisions and their effect on the present.

Behavioral Studies

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.

Teaching Strategy

Background Information

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 don’t 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 where possible.

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 class.

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.

Assessment Recommendations

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.

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