World Wildlife Day 2020

In this short post, we share some ideas for how we can mark this special day in class and use it as an opportunity to encourage our students to appreciate the wonders and diversity of our natural world.
World WIldlife Day official poster

Tuesday, March 3, is World Wildlife Day, and what better excuse to focus our lessons on celebrating diversity and exploring projects and initiatives which are striving to sustain widlife across the planet.  In this short blog, I’m going to bring together a few resources that teachers and other educators have been sharing on the ELT Footprint Facebook group, as well as sharing links to materials which are already stored here on our website. 

The following video from Friends of the Earth Europe makes for a perfect, uplifting introduction to the day. Clyde Fowler, an ELT Footprinter from Thailand, shared the video on the group with the following message: A great title video for YLs. You could get them to watch and then write down all the creatures they see, then watch again to check / add more. Follow up with a discussion on how to bring nature back in their local area. It could inspire an art project too. 

Be sure to watch the video with the sound up and I’m sure it’ll inspire you to think of lots of ways you can use it in your class and with your students.,

If you want a reading text to introduce the day to students at B1+ and upwards, you could use this online article from the British Council Learning English magazine. It comes with interactive activities to pre-teach key vocabulary, support comprehension and a global discussion forum where students can share their thoughts and ideas with learners across the world. 

This lesson from Owain Llewelyn on the ELT Sustainable blog, Ordinary People who do extraordinary things, celebrates activists across the world. There’s a downloadable lesson based on a jigsaw listening suitable for teenagers and adults from B1 upwards.  

For more stories about eco-heroes and their projects and initiatives visit this page on the website. There are links to videos and news stories and photos that can feed into any number of lessons on how we can protect habitats and sustain diversity.  

One of my favourites is this simple BBC video news story about Hadir El-Ali, a Senegalese activist, and his love for mangroves. Or you might want to share Kate Cory-Wright’s blog posts about the Accidental Andean Land Project which describe how a wasteland in Ecuador was transformed into a thriving woodland.

There are so many great stories to share. This is one of my favourite rewilding stories, narrated by the journalist, environmentalist and climate activist, George Monbiot: How Wolves Changed Rivers. The subtitles mean it’s accessible for students from B1+ and if you don’t know the story, I suggest you get some headphones and a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy!


To find out more about social media campaigns and other events, visit the offical UN World Wildlife Day website. And if you have any favourite lesson plans or resources you’d like to share, please leave a comment, join our groups on Facebook or LinkedIn (just search for ELT Footprint) or get in touch with us on Twitter (@eltfootprint #eltfootprint). 

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