At a glance
- Category: English/Language Arts
- Ages: 10 & under
- Suggested length: 2 class periods (45-55 minutes each)
- Device accessibility: 1 device per student
This Kialo Edu discussion examines the question of whether we should keep animals in zoos. Students will explore the discussion and use a graphic organizer to help them organize their thoughts on the central question. Finally, students will individually write a petition using arguments from the discussion.
In this lesson, students will:
- Explore a series of arguments for and against keeping animals in zoos.
- Organize and plan their thoughts before writing.
- Write a petition listing a series of arguments to convince an audience.
No specific prior knowledge is required for this lesson.
- There is no need to clone this discussion. Students can explore the discussion hosted on the Kialo Edu account by clicking this link.
- If you would like to invite students to the discussion using the “Share” button or the Teams feature, create 1 clone of the discussion for yourself.
- When inviting students to the discussion, give them Viewer permissions.
- The Kialo Edu discussion, “Should we keep animals in zoos?” This includes:
- Instructions for students.
- A fully developed Kialo discussion for students to explore. The discussion covers the positive and negative aspects of keeping animals in zoos.
- Lesson plan for educators (downloadable in .docx / .pdf).
- Graphic organizer for students (downloadable in .docx / .pdf).
Suggested length: 2 class periods (45-55 minutes each)
- Opener (5-10 minutes)
- Part A: Exploring the discussion and filling out the graphic organizer (focus of 1 class period)
- Part B: Writing the petition letter (focus of 1 class period)
- Optional closer (10-15 minutes)
- Students will write a letter to accompany a petition, based on one of the following scenarios:
- You want the government to shut down the local zoo and send the animals to a sanctuary.
- You want the local zoo to improve the lives of the animals who live there.
Opener (5-10 minutes)
- Ask students if they’ve ever visited a zoo and to share what their experiences were like there. Discuss with the students why some people might have negative or positive views towards zoos.
Part A: Exploring the discussion and filling out the graphic organizer (focus of 1 class period)
- Go over instructions for the lesson, which are contained in the background info (this can be found by clicking the button in the top-left corner of the discussion).
- Hand out individual copies of the graphic organizer. Have students fill it out as they explore the discussion.
- Direct students to explore the Kialo Edu discussion, “Should we keep animals in zoos?”
TIP: Encourage students to read both the pros and the cons of their favored arguments.
Part B: Writing the petition letter (focus of 1 class period)
- Show students examples of petition letters from other websites, such as these:
- Discuss with students which elements they would like to see in their letters, such as arguments supported by facts and evidence.
TIP: Ask students to write balanced arguments in their petition. For example, “Even though zoos protect animals, they are still better off in the wild.”
- Direct students to pick a position/scenario and start writing their petitions individually. Students should use their graphic organizers to support their writing.
Optional closer (10-15 minutes)
- Have students volunteer to read their petitions out loud for the rest of the students.