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Great Wildlife Heist, The

Classroom Activity

To consider different policy viewpoints regarding bird smuggling practices.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "Choices for the Birds" student handout (PDF or HTML)
  1. Organize students into six groups and give a copy of the "Choices for the Birds" student handout to each group.

  2. Assign one of the following roles to each of the groups: bird breeders; bird owners; government officials from a country where exotic birds live; U.S. Fish & Wildlife agents; veterinarians; and U.S. policy makers.

  3. Have students assigned to the first five roles read the three scenarios and, in their assigned roles, make a list of concerns and recommendations about each situation.

  4. Students in the role of U.S. policy makers should review the scenarios and prepare to hear arguments from the other groups. When all groups are finished, bring the class together so that groups 1-5 can present their ideas to the "Policy Makers" group.

  5. After all groups have presented their plans, the "Policy Makers" group will decide which plan of action to support for each scenario.

Activity Answer

The objective of the activity is to emphasize that many of these decisions involve ethical "shades of gray," as the individuals in the program mention. This activity provides an opportunity for the class to discuss the distinctions people make when they justify, excuse, or rationalize their behavior, and to consider how a person's role may influence behavior in certain circumstances.

Teacher's Guide
Great Wildlife Heist, The

Video is not required for this activity