Explore persuasive writing
- Have students research and present arguments about the pros and cons of wildfires.
Explore US history - Environmental protection/WWII
- Smokey Bear is the longest running public service campaign in US history - in its 83rd year and going strong. Check out the Smokey Bear website to see his timeline, his history, and his connections to WWII.
Explore environmental science
- As Author Collard points out in the Minute, wildfires have some very positive benefits. Explore the pros and cons of wildfires. The Smokey Bear site, jointly sponsored by the Ad Council, the National Association of State Foresters, and the US Forest Service, has a great place to start with a page about the benefits of fire.
- As students learn when they read this Minute, we can learn a lot about the environment by taking a closer look at animal behavior. Have students deconstruct the information Author Collard provides about the behavior of birds. Through guided discussion and Socratic questioning, students can discover what can be learned by looking backward at the causes of animal behaviors in addition to looking forward at the benefits or consequences of observable behaviors. See if students can find this pattern in other observable animal behaviors, like in water quality field stream surveys, etc.
- Take a field trip - you don’t need to go far. The edge of school property works for some nature observation and can provide a wealth of observable behaviors of insects, slugs, birds, and more.
Explore Music in Media
- For some of us, we have always thought of Smokey Bear as Smokey the Bear. WHen I set out to find why that was, I discovered this fascinating story about a song that was created and inserted the between Smokey and Bear to get the words to better fit the beat and rhythm of the song. His proper name is Smokey Bear, but you can have some fun in music class exploring the history of the song and the different versions that have been created (check YouTube for versions).
Explore Media Messages
- According to the Center for Media Literacy, all media messages are constructed with a purpose and a point of view. Take a look at the media messages we have received from Smokey Bear over time. How have they changed? Why have they changed? Is there bias? What is the purpose of the message and who is its intended audience? Check out Smokey’s social media presence. Yup - he’s got his own Facebook page!
© Karen Sterling, 2017 - May be used for educational purposes without written permission