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Borderland Wildlife Emma S. Barrientios Mexican American Cultural Center Virtual Programming

The Borderlands Wildlife Lesson

Students will learn about environmental challenges on the US-Mexico Borderlands including the effects of the border wall on local wildlife and habits. Students will make found- object marionette puppets.

Welcome to Borderland Wildlife Stories

In this lesson students will learn about disruptions in wildlife habitats by the US-Mexico border structures and policy along with the wildlife found there. Students will explore and evaluate their own beliefs about environmental degradation/justice. Students will create their own solutions to issues animals face on the border and will build their own found object puppets and theatre backdrops.

Opening Ritual

Students will check-in with their favorite animal. Students will act out the animal and the rest of class will get three guesses to say what it is.

Introductory Activity

Students will take sides on environmental issues by agreeing with or disagreeing with statements. Students will explode from the group if they agree or stay put if they do not agree.

Engage with Students through these Examples Questions

  1. Humans are the biggest cause of environmental problems.
  2. It’s important to take care of our environment.
  3. If I litter someone else will clean it up for me.
  4. I can make a difference in environmental justice issues in Latin American.
  5. I can make a difference in environmental justice in Austin.

Core Activity + Pancho Rabbit

Linked below is a reading of Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, watch and enjoy!

Click here for the core activity packet, and begin the Borderlands Wildlife Stories!

Follow along with Ms. Cassie as she guides you through the Borderlands Wildlife Stories activity!

Borderlands Wildlife Mapping

In this lesson students will learn about disruptions in wildlife habitats by the US-Mexico border structures and policy along with the wildlife found there. Students will explore and evaluate their own beliefs about environmental degradation/justice. Students will create their own solutions to issues animals face on the border and learn about the art of map-making by creating their own representation of the border.

Check-In/Opening Ritual

Students will check-in with their favorite animal. Students will act out the animal and the rest of class will get three guesses to say what it is.

Warm-Up/Introductory Activity

Exploding Atom Activity: Students will take sides on environmental issues by agreeing with or disagreeing with statements. Students will explode from the group if they agree or stay put if they do not agree

Examples of questions

  1. I can make a difference in environmental justice in Austin.
  2. My community does not have any environmental justice issues.
  3. Borders are natural.
  4. What do lowrider look like?
  5. How was the outside painted?
  6. Did the car have any special designs?
  7. What color was it?

Let's begin the activity!

Open up you lesson packet, all worksheets and templates are found there.

Lowriders with hydraulics have switches the driver can use to raise or lower the car in different ways. This is called “hittin’ switches” and can make the car dance or bounce. They even have contests to see who can make their car hop the highest!

Borderland Wildlife Vocabulary

Stories Vocabulary: environmental degradation, endangered animals, environmental justice, US-Mexico Borderlands, Mexican Milk Snake, Ocelote, Collared Peccary, Jaguarundi, Chachalaca, Barred Tiger Salamander, Rio Grande Chirping Frog, Texas Earless Lizard, Plains Blind Snake, Texas Horned Lizard, Mountain Lion, Yellow Bat

Mapping Vocabulary: environmental degradation, endangered animals, environmental justice, apex predator, trophic cascade, compass rose, map key, scale, cartography

Lowrider CultureThe way of life of people who turn their cars into lowriders and are part of the lowriding community.

Curriculum Created by Cassie Smith, ESB-MACC Arts Instructor

Created By
Olivia Tamzarian
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