Founded in 1991 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students, the Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen—for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With hundreds of thousands of young people in more than 120 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world. Young people identify problems in their communities and take action. Through service projects, youth-led campaigns and an interactive website, Roots & Shoots members are making a difference across the globe.
Roots & Shoots Service-Learning Curriculum:
Each year in this country, millions of dogs and cats are put down in shelters. Today, clouded leopards—denizens of the tropical rainforest—are at risk from over-hunting and habitat loss. The good news is that there are many things that your students can do to save these animals.
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots K-12 service-learning curriculum wants to enhance the livelihood and survival of the animal community, the human community, and the environment by engaging students of all ages in positive change.
Not only does this curriculum bring an awareness about these three precious communities, but it also provides motivating tools to help your students experience a sense of empowerment—even leadership—as they learn and contribute beyond the classroom.
Service-learning projects for elementary, middle school, and high school are treated as campaigns. Your students will focus their efforts on a finite period of time, culminating in a final event from which they will document and reflect upon their achievements.
The learning theme of the Animal Community campaign is for students to gain an in-depth understanding of the unwanted animal population and why there is a need for animal shelters or sanctuaries in this country. However, the biggest impact will be felt in your community, where your students will put their ideas into action.
Below is a sampling of Animal Community resources:
Middle School lesson plans
Middle school students will learn about why there are unwanted animals in their communities, and have an opportunity to do something about it. Lesson plans build knowledge (What are the most common reasons animals are brought to shelters?) and compassion (How do you think it affects animals to be in a shelter?). They also frame activities, such as making toys or items for pets waiting to be adopted, or educating younger students on why pets don’t make good holiday presents.
To see lesson plans, click here.
High School sample campaign
Check out the Roots & Shoots campaign of 11th grade science teacher Mr. Adams from Washington D.C. His time line takes you from the campaign introduction to event day, and includes details and anecdotes that will fire up your students to create their own unique campaign. Visit Mr. Adams’ campaign here.
Roots & Shoots provides a list of publications and global organizations to supplement your Animal Community project and activities. You’ll find an impressive menu of books and websites here.
More Roots & Shoots Resources
On the Edge: Hope for Animals Campaign
This campaign focuses on helping endangered or near extinct species. Your students will learn about some of the amazing people who are saving species from the brink of extinction. Better yet, they can write the next hope-into-action chapter by learning about endangered species in their community, planning a project, and telling their story. Click here to get started.
Lessons for Hope
VISIT WEBSITE: Lessons for Hope
Lessons for Hope is a high school curriculum based on Dr. Jane’s book “Reason for Hope.” Four units of lessons and exercises offer a wealth of hands-on interactive and journaling opportunities. Students develop research and observation skills, along with project management experience. They also learn about multiple intelligence, trees, and environmental resilience. Above all, these lessons motivate students to improve their communities, never giving up hope.
Unit 2: Expert
Some students struggle with math, but have a gift for language. Others can barely draw a stick figure, but can score a hat trick on the soccer field.
In this section, students learn that it is possible to overcome limitations by using their multiple intelligences to achieve success. They complete a multiple intelligence profile, then explore how they can use these multiple intelligences to pursue their goals. For the Expert lesson, click here.
Curious about your multiple intelligence profile? Take the quiz here.
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“Kids and Animals” by Marc Bekoff – FREE book download
Don’t be fooled by the title. “Kids and Animals” is not just for youngsters. It’s an inspirational collection of drawings from the heads and hearts of children and teens involved in Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots programs around the world.
This gem of a book was curated by Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. While Dr. Bekoff has been a long-time advocate for animals, he continues to be humbly inspired by today’s youth and their knowledge of and heartfelt concern for all animals – not just the popular ones!
“Kids and Animals” is a terrific resource for discussions and activities, focusing on humane education and ways to grow our compassion footprint. It is also a beautiful template for young people to express their own ideas – print, visual, or electronic media – about how they care for animals, protect their habitats, and live in co-existence.
Download the book here.