New Mexico's Pet ResourceSPRING/SUMMER 2000



The curriculum for The Council of All Beings was put together by Kate Greenway, the Director of Humane Education at the Humane Society. Here are writings and drawings by students in Ms. Eileen Stapleton's 5th Grade class at Piñon Elementary School who took part in The Council.

By Andrea Carabajal
This past January, many 5th grade classes at Piñon Elementary have been studying about animals in our bioregion. Each student was picked by an animal to represent it. Some of the animals were mammals, amphibians and reptiles. I thought it was neat to learn about these animals.

After we learned about our animals, we had a council called "The Council of All Beings." The purpose of this project was to teach people to respect our animals. If we don't protect our animals, they will go away.

In the council, we wore our masks that we made ourselves. The masks were our animals. We sat in a big circle and talked about what we learned. We even had visitors from the Santa Fe Humane Society.

We talked about what is happening to animals. We also talked about what we as animals could think of to do as solutions to some of our environmental problems. I thought it was exciting when we came in and we had to see things from our animal's point of view. My animal was the porcupine so I made a mask like the porcupine and represented it.

It seemed like the class enjoyed this project. I am glad that we now know how to treat animals with respect like we do humans.

By Antonio Candelaria
Hi, I'm Antonio from Ms. Stapleton's class. I go to Pinon Elementary. About six months ago we picked cards that had animals on them. They were face down so we couldn't see the animals. I got the bat. It's a very interesting animal. He's pretty much blind and uses echolocation to get ound. They also use echolocation to find insects.

Some eat fruit and some also eat frogs or fish. Some bats can tell a poisonous frog call from a non-poisonous frog call. Sometimes a big bat eats a small bat.

We made masks and wrote a big report on our animal. Our Council of All Beings was about us talking about problems our animals face. My animal’s problem was that pesticides get on the insects and the bats eat insects that don't die. The bat either dies or gets very sick. The Council lasted about an hour and a half.

We also had two people from the Humane Society. We gave oral reports in front of the class. Mine went fine.

Louis Aaron Gonzales
Hi, my name is Louis Aaron Gonzales. I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I'm writing to you about The Council of All Beings. What the Council of All Beings is, is when an animal picks you and you do a report on that animal. I was the Ringtailed Raccoon. Our teacher had us sing songs like the "Habitat Song." The Habitat Song is a song about all animal habitats. We also wrote a poem and drew drawings of our animals.

We made masks, too. Armando's bear mask was the best. My animal, the Ringtailed Raccoon, is an animal who likes to steal things from other animals. Once on one of our camping trips we caught them stealing a lot of our food.

There was this lady, Kate Greenway, who came to talk to us about The Council of All Beings. She works forthe Humane Society and told us some things we didn't know about it. She was really nice. The next day Kate brought in some other lady and they talked more about the Council.

I encourage all boys and girls to join The Council of All Beings. It's really cool and fun.

By Cassie Read
Hi, my name is Cassandra Read, but most people just call me Cassie. My animal in The Council of All Beings was the cricket. I was surprised to hear what was going on with our animals in our environment. We talked about big horn sheep being killed by the mountain lions a and also by people. We talked about solutions and problem solving ideas that we can do as a class and individually to contribute to helping our animals.

Some of the solutions we thought of were to write letters about all of our concerns. We also got to listen to what Bighorn Sheep had to say. We also heard of what Mountain Lion had to say.

I was hoping the ranchers could get more land for their animals. Maybe the state or other ranchers who have plenty of land could donate more land for the other ranchers' animals. I don't really know what happened, but I hope everything turned out ok.

By Armando Lopez
During The Council of All Beings meeting, all of the students in my class wore masks they made themselves. Each mask was made by the student and looked like the animal they chose to represent. My animal was the black bear. The Council of All Beings was strange to me, but I am glad that we are helping to protect so many different animals. I learned a lot of interesting facts about different species of animals too. This is what I learned about the black bear.

Black bears weigh between 200 and 500 pounds and are 4-1/2 to 6 feet tall. They have muscular legs and big feet. Each foot has five long claws. Black bears have long, thick fur, small eyes, small ears, sharp teeth and a short tail. Not all black bears are black. Some are brown, gray or white. Black bears usually live alone in wooded areas, forests or by streams or lakes. They eat berries, ants, flowers, grasses, roots, nuts, fish, insects, small animals and honey. Bears sleep most of the winter in caves or thickets. Bears use their claws to protect themselves and they can run up to 25mph. A cub weighs one half to one pound at birth. The cubs are blind and have no fur. The cubs stay in the den with their mother for about two months. They live with their mother for one to two years.

Four and a half to six feet tall,
Eyes and ears are very small.
Long, thick fur and big fat feet,
Please don't give him any treat.

He eats some flowers, nuts and ants,
But you won't see him wearing pants.
Honey, honey he likes to lick,
Bees can't sting him, his fur's too thick.

He sleeps all winter, in a cave,
Don't go near him, he rarely bathes.
He lives alone, can you see why?
If he rolled over, you would die!

His mate has cubs, one pound they weigh,
Born blind, no fur, with mom they stay.
For about two years they do not roam,
Then the forest becomes their home.

Can you figure? Do you care?
I've been writing about a bear.
Watch for the black bear and please stand still,
He can run, climb trees, and even kill.

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