The Last Lions: Education Worksheet

Video highlights from The Last Lions

Upper Primary and Junior Secondary

The Last Lions Education Worksheet

SCHOOL LEVEL

Upper Primary and Junior Secondary


DESCRIPTION: The Last Lions

Award-winning filmmakers and National Geographic Explorers-In-Residence, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, chronicle the suspense-filled tale of a determined lioness ready to try anything – and risk everything – to keep her family alive, deep in the heart of Botswana's Okavango Delta. Fleeing a raging fire and a rival pride headed by a dangerous cub-killing lioness, Ma di Tau and her three fragile cubs must make their perilous escape by swimming across a swollen, crocodile infested river and facing off with fierce, horned buffalo. Forced into unfamiliar territory, this brave, single mother tries to protect her cubs, hunt alone and survive against the odds.


TEACHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION

This is the story of some of our planet's last wild lions. In just 50 years, the relentless encroachment of man has reduced a population of some 450,000 lions to just 20,000. Forced to search for new territory, lion prides inevitably come into conflict with other prides, and a fight to the death often ensues. This brilliant documentary captures the action of such an encounter, following a lioness named Ma di Tau, who chooses to lead her cubs to a new habitat in order to secure their future.

Faced with a choice of villages, people and guns to the north, or a raging fire and swollen river to the south, Ma di Tau shows her true mettle when she plunges into the river. Lions detest deep, open water, as it is unnatural to them, and they are unable to see what lurks beneath. This fear is realised when one of Ma di Tau's cubs is taken by a crocodile while attempting the river crossing.

 

However, this is only the beginning of the many challenges the lioness faces in her new, single-parent life. Because she does not have the group support of a pride, she must leave her cubs to fend for themselves while she hunts alone. Her new habitat does not have a plentiful supply of prey, and she has to take on a herd of aggressive, sharp-horned buffalo.


With her old enemy lion pride moving into her new territory and her two remaining cubs close to starving, Ma di Tau masters her fear of water to hunt buffalo in the river. Beautifully captured on film, Ma di Tau transforms into a leader as the lions join forces to hunt the buffalo herd.


Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s thought-provoking documentary illustrates the many challenges posed by the spread of human settlement and activity into the habitat areas of our remaining wild creatures.



CURRICULUM POINTERS

Upper Primary Curriculum

Geography is the investigation and understanding of the earth and its features and the distribution of life on earth, including human life and its impacts. It is the study of the many different “places”, or environments, which make up our world and is described as “the why of where”. Places are specific areas of the Earth’s surface, and can range from a locality to a country to a major world region.

Shape of the Australian Geography Curriculum 2011: Introduction


Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives.

Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale


Junior Secondary Curriculum

In addition to its practical applications, learning science is a valuable pursuit in its own right, providing opportunities for critical and creative thinking, challenge and leisure. The science curriculum provides opportunities for students to experience the joy of scientific discovery and to nurture students’ natural curiosity about the world around them. These ideas resonate with the concept of scientific literacy, a term that is well established in the science education literature.

Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Rationale



CURRICULUM OUTCOMES

Upper Primary

In undertaking these tasks, students of Geography will:

•    Explore and gain a good understanding of geographical thinking including its perspectives, concepts and ways of explaining

•    Become thoughtful and active local, national and global citizens, and understand how they can influence the futures of places

Shape of the Australian Geography Curriculum 2011: Aims



In undertaking these tasks, students of Science will:

•    Develop an interest in science and a curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions and speculate about the changing world in which they live

•    Develop an ability to communicate their scientific understandings and findings to a range of audiences, to justify their own ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims whilst respecting alternative viewpoints and beliefs

Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims



Junior Secondary

In undertaking these tasks, students of Geography will:

•    Explore and gain a good understanding of geographical thinking including its perspectives, concepts and ways of explaining

•    Become thoughtful and active local, national and global citizens, and … understand how they can influence the futures of places

•    Develop [their] ability to ask geographical questions, plan an inquiry, collect and analyse information, (particularly through fieldwork and spatial technologies), reach conclusions based on evidence and logical reasoning, and communicate their findings in effective ways.

Shape of the Australian Geography Curriculum 2011: Aims



In undertaking these tasks, students of Science will:

•    Develop ability to communicate their scientific understandings and findings to a range of audiences, to justify their own ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims whilst respecting alternative viewpoints and beliefs

•    Develop an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account moral, ethical and social implications

•    Develop an understanding of historical and cultural aspects of science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science.

Australian Science K-10 Curriculum 2010: Aims



STUDENT LEARNING TASKS

Upper Primary

Task 1

Go to the following web site:

http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps

Click on the map of Africa to enlarge it, then download it and save the map to your files, or print it and paste it into your workbook.



On your map:

•    Highlight the country of Botswana

•    Highlight the Okavango Delta

•    Circle the capital city of Botswana

•    Highlight the name of the country to the north of the Okavango Delta.



Task 2

In 25 words for each, describe two different types of habitat that lions occupy in the Okavango Delta. Write another 25 words to explain which of these habitats is better suited for lions and why.



Task 3

In 50 words, explain why Ma di Tau must find another place to live once her mate dies. In your description, include the role that her mate played in their partnership before he was killed in battle.



Task 4

Make a list of five strategies Ma di Tau uses when she hunts alone. Then choose the strategy you think works best and write three sentences to explain your choice.



Task 5

Draw two columns in your workbook. Use the left-hand column to list five threats to the lions of Duba in the Okavango Delta. Use the right-hand column to write two sentences for each threat, explaining how they could be overcome.



Junior Secondary


Task 1

Go to the following web site:

http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps

Click on the map of Africa to enlarge it, then download it and save the map to your files, or print it and paste it into your workbook.



On your map:

•    Highlight the country of Botswana

•    Highlight the Okavango Delta

•    Circle the capital city of Botswana

•    Highlight the name of the country to the north of the Okavango Delta



Task 2

In 100 words, explain what happened to Ma di Tau and why, after her mate was killed by the invading lions.



Task 3

Write a list of seven challenges Ma di Tau faced as a single mother. Then choose one of the challenges that she was able to overcome and in 50 words explain how she did this.



Task 4

Write two paragraphs (100 words total) to compare battle strategies of buffalo with those of lions. Include both attack and defence, and remember to mention any body parts the animals use when fighting.



Task 5

Do some Internet research to find out predictions of the world's population for the next five, ten and fifteen years. Which three countries are predicted to be have the highest populations in five, ten and fifteen years respectively. Write 50 words to explain what impact the spread of humans will have on the last wild lions.

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