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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 in the US-Mexico Borderlands including the effects of the border wall on local wildlife and habits. Creative projects include found-object marionette puppets, theatre backdrops, and borderlands maps. Each lesson is recommended for a specific age range but can be adapted for any group.

Welcome to Borderland Wildlife Theatre

Ages 5-8

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 Story Time

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

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

Check-out these resources to see different types of puppet making.

Borderlands Wildlife Mapping

Ages 9-13

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?

Explore these resources to learn more about map making!

Follow along with Ms. Cassie as she guides you through the Borderlands Wildlife Mapping activity in the second half of the video.

Let's begin the activities!

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

Learn about the Mexican Milksnake!

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

Supplemental Materials

Resources

Curriculum Created by Cassie Smith, ESB-MACC Arts Instructor

Created By
Olivia Tamzarian
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