Animal Guide Exploration Description
Learning Facilitator: Jojo Hart
Dates: November 2014 – June 2015
In the Animal Guide exploration 13 students are researching, writing and illustrating a bilingual guide to Cambodian animals and ecosystems. Liger is collaborating with a NYC-based NGO called Art in a Box (AIB) to publish the book. Jojo leads the research and writing aspect while AIB leads the illustration aspect and publishes the final product. The book includes 87 vertebrate species and 7 ecosystems.
The goal of this exploration is that the The Guide to Cambodian Animals will be an attractive, accurate and well-written source of knowledge about Cambodian ecology and zoology that can be used in Cambodia as well as other parts of the world.
The project (November 2014 – June 2015) spans two explorations and a literacy block and incorporates many subjects including ecology, biology, geography, English literacy, Khmer literacy and art.
From November- March the 13 Animal Guide students conducted research by interviewing and emailing local conservationists, visiting ecosystems, and reading websites and books. During this first stage they learned how to recognize a reliable source, improved their interview skills, developed research and note-taking skills and amassed an impressive vocabulary.
From January – March, as the students finished their research, AIB led a 2-month course on watercolor painting. 36 Liger students, including the 13 animal guide students, worked hard to create vibrant watercolors of the species and ecosystems in the book. They learned how paint with freedom and expression.
Finally, from April – June the students used their research to write 1600-character descriptions of their species. At this stage in the project the students learned English grammar, practice new vocabulary and learned how to write concisely. We also built connections with mentors around the world, including a school in Poland, who helped edit students’ work. Since the Animal Guide will be bilingual, once the 13 Animal Guide students finished writing and editing the English descriptions, other Liger students worked with the Khmer teachers to translate it into Khmer.