26 May 2009

Dolphin lessons for elementary school children

Following a strong pressure from my son Orso, who attends the elementary school Armando Diaz in Venice, on the 15th and 22nd of May I did a series of lessons about dolphins in coordination with a schoolteacher. The targets were classes of the 2nd and 4th year.

Lessons included a simple description of cetacean features in comparison to fish and other terrestrial mammals, an explanation of dolphin societies and behaviour, a quick look at how we (researchers) work with dolphins, to end with a summary of the main conservation issues. Each subject was slightly modified according to children age and school programme.

An example of dorsal fin matching was also performed, which amused the children a lot, as they were invited to guess which fin could match another.

Kids posed a number of questions, often interrupting the speech (sometimes in a chaotic way). Yet, such never-ending raising of hands denoted their vivid interest in the subject. Children of this age, exceptionally curious and sensitive, are particularly inclined to scientific subjects and most of them care about conservation issues. A hope for our planet’s future?

Elena Politi

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