Could this challenging topic inspire your students to find out more about wildlife conservation and development issues in Africa’s Congo Basin?
We produced 7 free Silent Forests lessons designed to help secondary teachers bring this topic to classrooms around the world. Lessons can work as a series or stand alone.
Please download lesson plans and resource files from the Teaching Downloads side bar. (Notes: .doc versions provided in case you want to edit. .xls files seem to download as .xlk but should still open in Excel; You may need to check out how to download youtube videos if you can't access youtube in school).
KS3 and 4 Geography/Citizenship
Lesson 1: An introduction - Card sorting activity looking at the causes of the bushmeat crisis; Sets the scene for the roleplay and communications exercises in lessons 2 - 4
Lesson 2: Silent Forests: Whose problem? - A thought-provoking and challenging role play exploring the bushmeat crisis in the Congo Basin. Option to explore Cameroon with Google Earth (.kmz file)
Lesson 3: Silent Forests: Talk about it - Debate the bushmeat crisis with students from another school
Lesson 4: Silent Forests: Raise your voice - Plan out (and start up!) an action campaign about the bushmeat crisis
Lesson 5: Silent Forests (16-18): A close look at a rainforest - Students interact with real botanical survey data to investigate plant conservation in Bimbia Bonadikombo Community Forest, Cameroon. Practice using Excel and Index of Diversity calculations.
Lesson 6: Silent Forests (16-18): Counting Chimpanzees - Students learn about chimp biology and conservation from a research student's field diary, describing her use of a modified belt transect method to estimate chimpanzee numbers in Bimbia Bonadikombo Community Forest
Lesson 7: Silent Forests (16-18): Community-based Conservation - Students put themselves in the place of the Bimbia Bonadikombo Community Forest Committee and work on a conservation education campaign to persuade people living near the forest to get involved in and support wildlife and forest conservation efforts.
We designed these activities with reference to RISC’s What Makes a Good Global Citizenship Resource, as we wanted to ensure that we were not inadvertently promoting stereotypes of “Africa” whilst sharing this topic with students."
Where does the ‘bushmeat crisis’ fit into the UK curriculum?
This issue fits into the global dimension theme of the national curriculum, and can be taught as part of Geography KS3 and KS4 and/or Citizenship KS3 and KS4. It can also be a useful way to bring out the realities of biodiversity conservation and science as featured in many A-level Science courses. Click the side bar links to view curriculum links.
Finding a speaker
We found that having a speaker with relevant experience can really bring sessions on this topic to life. Many universities have researchers, including graduates from Congo Basin countries, working on this issue. Local politicians could also be interested in answering questions on this issue, which is regularly raised in the EU and UK parliaments. JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING to see if we can help you find someone in your area.
Nancy Gladstone has an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College, London, and several years practical conservation experience in Madagascar. As Co-Director of Siren Conservation Education, she manages the Pan African Conservation Education initiative for Siren and Tusk Trust, producing and distributing conservation education materials for schools in Africa and the UK. Visit PACE Virtual Explorer for more schools resources on sustainable development issues in Africa.
Sophie Lewis provided eco-political insight and inspired classes towards Silent Forests resource development, whilst conducting her MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment. She is now studying in the US on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Helen McGregor has a Masters degree in Conservation Biology and spent 5 years working in southern Africa as a field ecologist and safari guide. She now teaches A-level Biology and Environmental Studies at a sixth form college in Brighton, as well as running wildlife courses in southern Africa and developing environmental education projects in the lowveld of Zimbabwe.
Muna Mitchell teaches science at secondary level in Oxfordshire. She previously lived and taught science in Botswana and has a great interest in promoting awareness of science in society and global issues.
Steve Puttick studied Geography with Mountain Leadership at Staffordshire University. After a PGCE at Oxford University, he taught Geography at the Warriner School in Oxfordshire, becoming Head of Department and co-ordinating a link with Kigezi High School in Uganda. His commitment to enhancing the Global Dimension across the curriculum has contributed to the Warriner School's successful 'International School Award' status. He is currently undertaking postgraduate research in Education at Oxford University.
Rachel Vickers is a science teacher and leads the Science and Society A-level course at a secondary school in Oxfordshire, where some of these lessons were piloted.
Rachel Witton trained as a teacher of modern languages at Oxford University. As Rafi.ki Programmes Coordinator, she advised on lesson design and encouraged the development of the Silent Forests resources.
Penny Fraser is a plant collector and botanist by training who provided fantastic content and context for the case study in Lesson 5. She lives in Cameroon and is director of Cameroonian NGO UNAFAS Conservation Values Program, now working in partnership with Siren on conservation education initiatives in the country.
Janvier Mondoa is Conservation Forest Manager in the Bimbia Bonadikombo Community Forest, specialising in Ecotourism Development. As well as giving an inspiring talk about wildlife conservation in Cameroon to a school in Milton Keynes on a recent trip to the UK, he provided invaluable advice and images for the video and case study in Lessons 5- 7.
Nikki Tagg is based in Cameroon as the in-country supervisor of Projet Grandes Singes, working on integrated community wildlife management and research in the periphery of the Dja reserve, Cameroon. She provided expert advice on chimpanzee biology for Lesson 6.
Divine Tanyi is studying for an MSc in rural development at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. Through the Silent Forests project, he shared his experience in forest management and conservation in Cameroon's National Parks with students from Cherwell School in Oxford. It is hoped that the connection will grow through Cherwell School's chicken project, which, with Divine's advice, is now looking into providing start-up funds for small-scale poultry businesses in Cameroon.
Juliet Wright runs Bee 4 Bushmeat, an organisation which trains hunters in Lebialem Province, Cameroon, in honey production as an alternative source of income instead of hunting. She is currently working with the London Zoological Society to reduce unsustainable bushmeat hunting in Equatorial Guinea. Many thanks from the Silent Forests project for use of images from Lebielem, and advice on the roleplay.
Graphic Design by Antoine Cutayar
The Silent Forests website and UK schools work was funded by a DFID Development Education mini-grant in 2010-2012. Silent Forests workshops in Cameroon were funded by the International Centre for Conservation Education.
LESSON 5 (A-level)
LESSON 6 (A-Level)
LESSON 7 (A-level)