Elephant Learning Box Project

Learning Box Project Brings Elephants to the Classroom

The Education Foundation of Indian River County (EF-IRC), in partnership, with the National Elephant Center (TNEC), and the School District of Indian River County (SDIRC) is pleased to announce an innovative and new pilot program at Fellsmere Elementary School called the “Elephant Learning Box Project.”

The Elephant Learning Box Project introduces Grade 5 students to the wonderful world of elephants and to the care provided them at the National Elephant Center in Fellsmere, Indian River County, Florida.

The innovative and unique project was made possible through the collaborative efforts of these groups.  The EF-IRC secured the project funding through grants from AT&T and the School District Foundation Matching Grant Program. The TNEC and SDIRC developed the curriculum to align with the State of Florida Standards in science, math, and writing.

The collaborating non-profits are excited to share the Elephant Learning Box Project with students so that they too will be inspired by the social, complex, intelligent and caring ways of elephants.  In learning about elephants, students will come to share in the commitment to ensuring their future.

The project includes:
o  An 82-page Educator’s Guide with eight lessons on important elephant topics: Geographic Distribution, Adaptations, Family Life, Communication, Ecology, Threats to Elephants in the Wild, Elephant Care and Conservation.
o Alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards;
o Teacher background information on elephants;
o Activities for each lesson including educational materials such as clue cards, posters, pictures of elephant adaptations, videos and call/response cards;
o Objects relevant to elephants including a molar tooth and dung sample.
o Videos to support elephant behavior, ecology and training topics.

Deb Berg, Director of Elementary Education for the SDIRC, commented, “We are always looking for partners in education that help our students gain a greater appreciation for the world around them. We are lucky to have the National Elephant Center in Indian River County. The staff of the National Elephant Center have created a standards based unit to encourage hands on learning, along with student-led small group discussions, lots of critical thinking and problem solving and the use of technology to help build well rounded students who have a new understanding of the ecosystem and the threats to the survival of the elephants. Fellsmere Elementary will be the first group of 5th graders that will have an opportunity to learn through this project.”

The “Elephant Learning Box Project” is available on-line for other school communities to access.  The following link features the educator’s guide, additional resources and lesson plans: http://www.nationalelephantcenter.org/learn/elephant-box/

To learn more about TNEC visit: www.nationalelephantcenter.org – email: info@nationalelephantcenter.org



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