Wolves Without Borders Connects International Students

By KBJR News 1

February 14, 2012 Updated Feb 14, 2012 at 7:52 PM CDT

BABBITT, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)---Students at the Northeast Range Campus in Babbitt are using wolves as a topic of conversation to connect with students from different countries.

Fifth graders in Mrs. Engman's class use i-Pads to Skype with students from Canada and Mexico several times per year, giving them an opportunity to ask questions and learn about wolf culture in different areas.

"We talk about the questions they've had and we kind of relate, like if they see wolves often in Canada and if we see wolves often in Minnesota," Shayler Lislegard, of the 5th grade said.

Wolves without Borders is a year long curriculum created by the International Wolf Center in Ely.

Throughout the year students participate in hands on activities and study mythological and factual perceptions of wolves.

"To be able to connect this particular topic with so many different content areas like reading and geography and science," Kelly Engman, a 5th Grade Teacher said. "It's been such a unique, awesome experience."

Wolf behavior, the state's recent grey wolf de-listing and the way wolves are portrayed in the media were all topics of conversation.

"They are really concerned about people seeing wolves and what their reactions have been," Engman said.

"I used to think that wolves were kind of mean," Lislegard said. "But they won't necessarily attack you unless there is a reason to. Or, it might have something wrong with the wolf."

Students have also been reading a novel about a young girl and her interaction with wolves.

"They also meet on something called Posterous which is like an online blog resource," Tara Johnson of the International Wolf Center said. "Then they post information about cultures and their learning."

The class also adopted a wolf from the International Wolf Center and will take a field trip there this year.

Jennifer Walch
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