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From Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 22, 2006
Latest Update: April 22, 2006
. Very young, early elementary, late elementary, middle school, high school, adults, seniors. For each age group:
- An Animal in Danger of Extinction: The Black-Footed Ferret
- Gifts for Awareness
- Easy Bookmark:You will find pieces for a Bookmark laid out on Instructions for Model Book Mark on Satellite Views.
- A little more difficult Bookmark:You will find a different set of pieces for a Bookmark laid out on Instructions for Model Book Mark on Art History.
- Most difficult Bookmark:You will find all the pieces for the card laid out on Instructions for Waterfall Card on Immigration. If you want to make it into a book mark, simply narrow and lengthen the card and don't double the card over. Use just one piece, and atach the waterfall to that piece as you would the front of a card. Remember to include your school sticker on the back.
- Preparing Materials for the Bookmark Project
- Age-Specific Versions of the ProjectSets of materials for different age groups
- Images and posters to tell the story of the black-footed ferret.
- Q&A period with that age group to help define their interest in the story.
- Those interested invited to write the story very briefly for inclusion with the bookmark.
- Active collaborative writing with the interested group and publication of the story on Dear Habermas for printing to go with the bookmark.
This part of the task will probably require on site participation. Hard to do at this stage over the Internet.
Preparation of baggies with basic pieces needed to make book mark.
- Print the set of basic materials from the website, and cut out card stock templates.
- Then cut out as many of each piece as will be needed for the project with that age group.
- Unless it's an advanced workshop, choose a variety of colors and let the participants choose from the colors available in the bagged pieces.
- In an advanced workshop, or an adult workshop, participants can cut from the template and thus, choose colors as they wish. But this requires more lay out and leads to waste of more materials if the participants fail to share card stock and paper. Not recommended for a first-time workshop.
- These tasks are ideal for those who need to work at home. Most of this preparation work can be done away from school, and simply dropped off for the workshop director.
- Directing a workshop also gives an opportunity for developing administrative skills. Remember, you're always building a resume. Parceling out the tasks, staying in touch with people to make sure they're done, and sending a thank you note acknowledging the efforts of those who worked with you are good administrative and leadership practice. We'll have some models available, as these are important skills you'll someday need to document..
Preparation of large baggies with images and papers to choose from for the bookmark.
- In beginning workshops, and those with younger people, or people who may have difficulty with pasting (that could be people with arthritis or some other challenge with finger dexterity, pieces should be cut out with adhesive applied to the back (Xyron machine probablly most effective.)
- According to physical skill and ease, other groups will want to cut and add adhesive to their own chosen images. Please let everyone develop all the skills they can. These gifts don't have to be perfect. And the feeling of "I did it myself" counts greatly.
- Helping others is one of the advantages of working in a group. But please try to keep participants from telling other participants what to do. If someone wants a green rabbit, allow them the "voice" of a green rabbit. Don't discourage difference. A New Orleans artist made a fortune painting "blue dogs." Honest.
Image with Blue Dog by George Rodrigue
- Some of the images we offer for choosing may be photos. Some may be stamped images. Some may be original drawings. Limit the choice of images to a few. Limit the stamps offered to a few. Limit the options of drawing and painting to a few. Too much choice confuses, and slows the project down. If you have someone who clearly would like more time and choice, try to include them in a mored advanced workshop.
Sharing with Your Community
Having learned ourselves last Fall to create complex flowers on boxes and cards and bookmarks, and. . . and . . . that help bring dialog on important stuff back to our friends and families and neighbors, we've spent more time this semester developing the tools that will let us fit this project into fast-track urban lives with many conflicting demands. It's time to go out from the classroom and share our learning and our skills with relatives, friends, and Others.
We've just put up some basic tools for sharing our awareness of the dangers of extinction for Black-Footed Ferrets. Your job here is:
- Read at least what we've posted on Black-Footed Ferrets.
- Check out the questions and answers.
- Help, if you can, put the baggies together with all the stuff we'll need for our project.
- Help put the several age-specific stories together. If you had little chance to write stories of your own, follow how we do it, and share when you can, and when you feel like it.
- Make a bookmark of your own. To share, you need to be sure you understand.
- Then go forth and SHARE!
With Whom Do I Share? Challenger Boys and Girls Club- Be sure you do a field visit first so that you understand the workings and rules of the Challenger Boys and Girls Club. For example, don't be late. They've instituted that rule to give youngsters a skill they need for later job enhancement and career development. Few jobs exist for which you can just show up when you feel like it. Respect the program they've developed. Yes, I know there's White People's Time and Colored People's Time and Jewish People's Time and Other People's Time. But I also respect that your first job after high school is not an appropriate setting for checking out Colored People's Time and its relationship to racism and inflexibility of our institutions. Just don't be late. A local school or parents' group that has asked for volunteer help.Again, respect the setting and the rules. They exist for reasons, and this is not an appropriate setting in which to test them. Yemille said that the Challenger Boys and Girls Club was far away from her home. And she has childcare problems. But she does work with a local school. Another student was horrified that each new parents' group for her child's class has to come up with its own art program if the children are to have art. Now, there's a cry for outreach if I ever heard one.
Neighborhood Children - Do the kids sometimes just "hang out" looking for something to do? Depending on their age, I don't think a bookmark would excite them. But a bookmark made after the waterfall card might. Try inviting a group of them to make a waterfall card or bookmark with you one afternoon, evening, or weekend. Be sure you have all the baggies and images together way ahead of time. We don't want to disappoint.
Adults only. Offer a "hippie flower" to anyone you know or meet. (Please encourage children to stick to people they know, or people in school, or church, or in some other protected environment.) Most people are delighted that someone still thinks of love and caring. And if they're interested in the issue you raise, just think of how much you can share with them.
Sunday School or its equivalent. Here you will encounter strong beliefs. Remember that our objective is not to change people's minds, but to share our learning and awareness. Please don't pick a topic that will appear hostile to others from your neighborhood. Start with something you can agree on, so you'll have reason to talk to one another. Don't lie. Just don't challenge when you know there's already a disagreement. Instead, look for issues that will help you come to know and understand your new friend.
- What ecological event caused the Black-Footed Ferret to come close to extinction?
People over-hunted and killed off most of the prairie dogs who the black-footed ferrets hunted for food. The prairie could no longer provide the ferrets enough food.
How close did the black-footed ferret come to extinction?
"The black-footed ferret (BFF) is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. Black-footed ferrets came to the very brink of extinction in the early 1980s, (a total founding population of only seven animals), primarily due to human extermination of their main prey base – prairie dogs." From Cheyenne Mountain Zoo article.
- What does the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo have to do with the Black-Footed Ferret?
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has a captive breeding program for black-footed ferrets. "The goal of the captive-breeding program is to restore this native carnivore to North America’s prairies. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s ferrets are part of an aggressive captive-breeding and reintroduction program that is gaining progress toward recovering this native ferret population. We are one of only five zoos in the world to breed this endangered species." From Cheyenne Mountain Zoo article.
- Is the captive-breeding program working?
"The recovery program is enjoying marked success. . . . The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo joined the efforts to recover the endangered black-footed ferret in 1990 as one of the first zoos to do so. . . . To date we have produced almost 100 weaned kits and have contributed over 50 BFFs to release programs in Arizona, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado and Utah and two Native American Reservations." From Cheyenne Mountain Zoo article.
- Why worry about whether Black-Footed Ferrets become extinct, when there are so many problems in the world today?
My instinctive response is that God made the ferret in all the beauty that nature bestows upon us. Who are we to waste that beauty and kill a living creature when we do not need to? But maybe we will not have to answer for it, since there are so much greater signs of pain and loss in our world today.
But there is this warning called "knowingness." We are arrogant creatures, humans, and we tend to think that we know far more than we do. We do not know what will happen to our earth as species continue to disappear, and as we over-kill or over-hunt with little concern for replacing what we have used up. Global warming is already upon us, and may soon be beyond our ability to correct, meaning that the world will change even more in ways we cannot yet know.
We worry about saving black-footed ferrets because we can, and because we do not know what will happen to our earth and to us, when they, and others like them, disappear forever. If we do not save them for their beauty and life, we had better save all that we can of this world gone awry, to save ourselves, who share their beauty, their planet, and their life.