Monday, 5 December 2016

Remarkable Photojournalism at Calgary Zoo

This blog entry has been submitted by Dawn Hardy and Andrea Beaty at the Calgary Zoo!  Do you have a story you would like to share? Let us know at:!

Lake Bonavista School’s grade 3/4 students took their learning to a whole new level when they became National Geographic photographers at Zoo School, here at the Calgary Zoo! 

Students were taught how to capture an animal’s life and story through photographs in the hopes that it would motivate and inspire people to care, and perhaps, take conservation action. Not only are these students experiencing how to be photojournalists, but they are also artists in the making. These grade 3/4 students are creating photo cards on zoo poo paper to sell within their community. This venture will raise conservation awareness and money which can be donated towards adopting an endangered animal. These are our wildlife conservation stars of 2016!

National Geographic photographers in action! The giraffes, hippos, red pandas, meerkats, gorillas and snow leopards were all photographed so their stories can be told. Back in the classroom after Zoo School the students have worked enthusiastically to produce a rough copy selecting only their very own photos to use to tell their story.

What they have produced is remarkable…see for yourself and remember these are the rough copies!

The finished copies of the stories will be created on the class computers, where the students are deciding every last detail to make it their own, which is what they are most proud of. Isabella was excited she got to “add in my information and my own photos”. Emma, when asked how she feels to share her story said “It makes me feel good, because I want to help so they (Snow Leopards) don’t become critically endangered”.

Xavian said that when he was at the Calgary Zoo, before he came to Zoo School, he would “run around looking at the animals” and now he “gives the animals more attention and stays and watches” This connection with their animal is spoken about through the classroom; Anneka says the Snow Leopard became her favourite animal “when I got to know them”. It is because of the connection the students made with their animals that they wanted to do something to help and so using their magnificent photos, they have created photo cards on zoo poo paper to sell in school. The goal is to raise enough money to be able to adopt a giraffe, hippo, gorilla, meerkat, red panda and snow leopard through WWF. Lake Bonavista Grade 3/4’s are determined they will reach this goal and raise more money to help Canadian animals too, like the whooping crane, black footed ferret and black tailed prairie dog.

Way to go Lake Bonavista!

After selling the photo cards for an evening at Teacher conferences the students have already raised a huge $330! This is enough money to adopt all 6 of their observation animals from Zoo School. Fantastic!

Budding National Geographic Photojournalist Gallery

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