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The Wilds of Madagascar Classroom Resources

Site at a Glance | Lesson Plans | Field Report | Track the Fossa | Related Resources | Join Us/E-mail

Welcome to the Classroom Resources section for the NOVA/PBS Online Adventure, The Wilds of Madagascar. This live adventure follows a team of scientists as they track the island's most elusive creatures.

In the first half of the three-week journey, we'll enter the otherworldly landscape of the Ankarana reserve, where we'll join ecologist Luke Dollar in trapping and radio-collaring the fossa [pronounced "FOO-sa"], a cat-like carnivore. The goal is both increased scientific knowledge and improved conservation prospects for these predators perched at the top of the food chain. We'll also search for crocs in caverns, rivers, and mangrove forests.

In the second half of the expedition, we'll go from the dry, tropical Ankarana to the dense rainforest of Marojejy, where we'll meet up with primatologist Patricia Wright. She'll attempt to capture, measure, weigh, blood-sample, and release the silky sifaka, a ghostly, all-white lemur that is perilously close to extinction.

We invite you and your students to follow along with us on this adventure, which begins Thursday, May 18, 2000, and runs for about three weeks. During that time, here's what you can expect:

  • continual availability of the companion Web site that includes photos, QuickTime VRs, audio clips, articles, and activities about the adventure. Use this Web site to send e-mail to expedition members.

  • constant updates from the field through Dispatches, regular reports chronicling the team's most recent activities.

  • a way to receive continued updates on the team's progress. By signing up for our special teacher's listserve, you can receive the latest information on the team's movement without visiting the Web site.

  • these Classroom Resources. This section will provide you with:
    • Site at a Glance—summary information that details the Web site's features, their type (interview, article, activity), and their grade-level appropriateness.

    • Lesson Plans—four printable lesson plans investigate topics of geography, animal adaptation, ecosystem study, and population dynamics.

    • Related Resources—books, articles, and Web sites for further exploration about Madagascar.

    For Your Students:
    • Field Report—a section that allows students to use photographs, audio clips, and text to create their own summary of the adventure's events.

    • Track the Fossa (Hot Science)—an activity that explores how radio tracking works.

We hope you and your students will join us as we explore this 1,000-mile-long island off southeast Africa that is home to thousands of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth.


Karen Hartley
Project Director
NOVA Online Teachers
e-mail: Karen_Hartley at wgbh dot org

Photo: Jacinth O'Donnell/Survival Anglia.

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