Powerful and practical ways to bring outside learning inside your classroom, featuring Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots resources and network. Also, changing how kids perceive the world... through art, Wendell Berry's The Wild Geese, our new national writing competition, resources from Poets.org and TeachKind, and our visual learning, and classroom tools departments.
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  Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions         April 2011 
“If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happen to the man.”—Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, letter to President Franklin Pierce

Jane Goodall and friend


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Dear Educators,

Whether it’s dogs, cats, horses, or snow leopards, young people love animals. The stories in the current issue of YES! Magazine, Can Animals Save Us? explore the beauty and contradictions humans have with the animal community.

With Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots resources and other YES! classroom tools, your students can explore ways to protect and respectfully co-exist with animals in our complex, ever-changing environment.

We are also excited to launch the YES! National Student Writing Competition. The Spring 2011 topic is “What is your gift?” If your students covet the chance to be published on YES! Magazine’s website, get them writing today!

From early morning light to cherry blossoms to newborn lambs, spring is definitely here! Enjoy your much-deserved spring break.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine Best,
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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Inspired by YES! Magazine stories about learning outside the classroom? We have FREE copies of our Fall 2009 issue, Learn as You Go , for you and your students. Just email me a request and they’re yours. Limited supply available.

  Your Stories  

Presidio Middle School students in San Francisco first form a chrysalis and then its transformation into the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly. Photo by Daniel Dancer
Get Your Skysight On! How to Change the Way We Perceive the World
In the 1980s, Oregon artist Daniel Dancer came upon the Nazcac Lines of Peru—giant sketches drawn in the desert by ancient peoples. With Kansas artist and friend, Stan Herd, Daniel created similar-scale images on a field by using a tractor as a paintbrush and crops for color. One day, Daniel invited an entire elementary school of students to be the beads on the headband of a 25-acre Indian head. The result was stunning and life changing. This is Daniel’s story.

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Teaching Asperger’s Students. Meeting the Parents. Our School at Blair Grocery. Teens Care for River, Their Way. ¡Hola! The Future is Now. Race Has Everything To Do With It. Growing Good People. Beauty of Teenagers. Free to Be Me. Chicken Soup for the Soul.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.

  YES! Recommends  

Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots organization: The Power of Youth is Global

Jane Goodall is more than the world’s foremost authority on chimpanzees. She also is a tireless supporter for the natural world we share. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots resources and network empower young people to improve the environment for all living things.

We are pleased to share Roots & Shoots’ K-12 service-learning lessons on the animal community and endangered species. If your students want to do something practical and powerful for animals in their community, these lessons are pathways to success.

  YES! Classroom Tools  

Jane Goodall's 10 Best Things We Can Do For Animals, a YES! Poster. Photo by Betty Udesen
10 Best Things for Animals
“Act knowing we are not alone and live with hope.” Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insight into the animal world with these 10 things you and your students can do to care for the animals we all love.

The Page That Counts The Page that Counts
How many Americans say they are satisfied with the school system? By how much does using a cell phone increase your chances of getting a brain tumor? Satisfy your curiosity with the Page That Counts!
Tomatoes. Photo by Evan Leeson 8 Food Rules from My 10-Mile Diet
Health enthusiasts have rules. Dieters have rules. Why not locavores? Here are rules Vicki Robin came up with after one month of eating only local (except the salt, coffee and limes!).
  YES! National Student Writing Competition  

The YES! Exemplary Essay Project. YES! Magazine graphic
Want a motivator to take your students’ writing to a higher level? Here’s an opportunity for them to write for a real audience (not just you!), and the chance to get published by an award-winning magazine.

The YES! National Student Writing Competition is your students' chance to show off their best writing and passionate opinions.

Puanani Burgess. Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine
Have your students read and respond to Puanani Burgess’ YES! article, Blessings Revealed. This is the story of a young man, written off as a loser, who discovers his own unique gift. Your students should write an essay of up to 700 words that answers the questions, “What is your gift? How do you share it?”

Click here for competition details and how to sign up.

  Curriculum and Resources  

Meaningful education includes fostering creativity and teaching compassion. Discover the inspiration of a thought-provoking poem, and learn about humane education with these resources from the Academy of American Poets and TeachKind. Below you’ll find free lesson plans and materials to share with your students.

Poets.org logo
This online poetry classroom is a source for poets of all ages. Explore a rich collection of poems and dive into a wealth of curricular resources. April is National Poetry Month. Poets.org is chock-full of poems and programs to help you and your students celebrate. There’s also an entire section devoted to poetry for teens.

TeachKind wolf
Do you want to help your students become kinder, more compassionate individuals? TeachKind, the humane education division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, provides a bounty of thoughtful, free materials for teachers who want to explore how their students can be respectful and kind to animals, and take action on causes they care about.

  Words That Inspire  

Canada Geese in flight. Photo by Pheanix
Photo by pheanix
The Wild Geese
by Wendell Berry

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow …

Farmer, teacher, poet, and activist Wendell Berry writes of the immediate world that surrounds him. His vision embraces community in the largest possible sense, and rests on the belief that humankind must learn to live in harmony with nature or perish.

Click here for the entire poem and an accompanying activity from which your students can talk back to the poet.

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  Featured Article  

Funny pictures showing just how alike humans are to animals. Photos from iStock.com We Second That Emotion
Scientific research shows that many animals are very intelligent and have sensory and motor abilities that dwarf ours. Many animals also display wide-ranging emotions. In many ways, human emotions are the gifts of our animal ancestors…

  YES! Web Picks  


Image from Franke James' Visual Essay
What can one person do?
What can one person do when 6.8 billion are frying the planet? Franke James’ colorful, quirky images reflect what’s going on in her head: questions and mutterings about global warming, floods, and more.


Image from JR's TED Talk
You can’t ignore me any longer
Find yourself avoiding eye contact with the homeless? In this popular TED Talk, street artist JR talks about his global art project that posts in-your-face portraits of the overlooked and downtrodden in improbable places.

Photo courtesy of Rikki's Refuge. Buy happy.
Be happy.

Cage-free, grass-fed, free-range, organic. Are you mystified by the labels you see on the meat or eggs you buy? This powerful video defines what “Certified Humane” is all about and what it means for the animals.

  Visual Learning  
The Santa Fe Art Institute and community members colored the dry Santa Fe riverbed where water could potentially flow. Photo courtesy of 350.org and the Santa Fe Art Institute Out of the Blue
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the surprising facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.

Visual Learning Lesson Plan

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