You know that in our family we purpose to spend time together as a family. What that looks like is a variety of family time activities depending on what’s going on in our world. This month our family time was a family movie night that also doubled as a lesson in elephant poaching.
When you have a child who has emotional sensitivities it can be hard to introduce concepts related to elephant poaching. Which is why having something visual, that explains the situation in a lighthearted way, can be a great solution to introduce hard concepts. Teaching difficult concepts is easier when you weave together a learning experience that incorporates a visual explanation with lessons in a unit study.
I recently learned about the upcoming World Elephant Day on April 16, 2018. Which means it’s the perfect time to craft a unit study around the elephant poaching crisis.
The premiere of Phoenix Wilder: And The Great Elephant Adventure also will happen on that day… so using it as a springboard for deeper study is a great idea.
Be sure to read through to the end to learn more about the movie and and enter a giveaway to win movie passes.
I was given an opportunity to preview this film for free before it’s release date and am being compensated for my time in preparing this post. As always, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate advertisement links to 3rd party sites.
Family Friendly Movie
The Elephant Poaching Crisis
Phoenix Wilder: And The Great Elephant Adventure is the adventure story of a young 13-year old boy named Phoenix who unexpectedly becomes an orphan. After moving from his home in the U.S. to live with his Aunt Sarah in Africa he soon finds himself lost in the plains of South Africa.
Though missing his parents immensely, Phoenix is a curious young man and he’s also excited to explore his new life. The day after his arrival he heads off on his first African safari with his Uncle Jack.
But, during a stop for lunch, he steps away from the group for a moment of intrigue, but quickly discovers he doesn’t know how to get back. His Uncle and the others in the group assuming he’s in a different vehicle take off without him. Before long, it’s obvious that Phoenix is lost in the plains of Africa.
After a night alone in a strange land, with wild animals all around, Phoenix discovers an elephant tangled in a poacher’s net and he frees him.
That’s really when his adventure begins.
Phoenix is both thankful for the company of his new found friend and fascinated by the intelligence and loyalty that the elephant shows. Together they begin traipsing through the plains as Phoenix tries to find his way back home to his aunt. But, it’s not long before they stumble upon and elephant poacher camp full of men who are killing elephants for their tusks.
Of course his aunt and uncle, along with local authorities, are searching for him, not knowing where he could be, or what might be happening to him. But, with big game elephant poachers in the area it soon becomes apparent that Phoenix is in real danger.
Take a look at this movie trailer.
Phoenix teaches the elephant, who he names Indlovu, a variety of commands and the two travel across the plains together. When Phoenix sees the destruction of these incredible animals, he decides to do something about it. And together with Indlovu they begin to thwart and frustrate the efforts of the poachers.
As movie goers watch it becomes apparent that African Elephants are in real danger of extinction through the elephant poaching crisis. Through the lighthearted friendship that develops between Phoenix and Indlovu viewers begin to understand why poaching is such an aweful practice as well as the need for elephant conservation efforts to continue.
So while the subject matter is weighty and difficult the facts are presented in a gentle and fun way. It’s super fun to see how Phoenix and Indlovu save the day making this a wonderful feelgood film for the whole family.
Unit Study Resources for
Further Elephant Poaching Studies
You can start with a family movie night to teach about elephant poaching but then continue the learning through an elephant conservation unit study. I’ve gathered some links with free resources to help you teach your children about the problem.
- Primary Education Lessons from Elephanatics
- Battle for the Elephants Education from National Geographic
- The African Elephant and the Ivory Trade from the NEA
- Ivory Wars from Discovery Channel
- An Elephant’s Life Comic Book & Fact Sheet from PETA
Books about Elephants and Conservation
- The Elephant Keeper: Caring for Orphaned Elephants in Zambia
- The Elephant Keeper: A Novel
- National Geographic Kids Mission: Elephant Rescue: All About Elephants and How to Save Them
- DK Readers L3: Hope for the Elephants
- Elephants : Just Facts For Kids
Discussion Topics Related to
the Elephant Poaching Crisis
The movie is intended to be a family friendly movie that deals with a difficult subject. But, it’s presented in a way that is lighthearted. Children who see the movie might not at first understand what is happening and why. These discussion points can help you to explain the situation, the reason why poachers do this dreadful thing, and the efforts being done to stop it.
▬ Approximately 104 elephants are killed each day for their Ivory Tusks
▬ It is estimated that the cost of Ivory on the black market is as much as $1,500 per pound.
▬ African Elephants are in danger of extinction in as little as 10 years.
▬ Why do you think people place such a high value on Ivory?
▬ Do you believe that increasing public awareness of the illegal practice will help to end the elephant poaching crisis? Why or Why Not?
▬ What ways do you think might help to end this crisis?
- Written, directed, and produced by Emmy-nominated producer, director and writer Richard Boddington (of Against the Wilds films).
- The film is stars Elizabeth Hurley, as Aunt Sarah
- And, Sam Ash Arnold as Phoenix
- The movie has a pre-show presentation about elephants.
- Then two additional interviews at the end, first with Elizabeth Hurley and second with world famous conservationist Dr. Richard Leakey.
- Enter your zip code at this website to find out which theater nearest you will have the film.
- Pre-order your tickets for easy film-going.
- And don’t forget that you can enter the giveaway to win tickets!
- Phoenix Wilder, And The Great Elephant Adventure will be released in theaters nationwide on April 16, 2018, at 6 p.m. local time, which also happens to be World Elephant Day.
Want to WIN 5 Tickets to see Phoenix Wilder: And The Great Elephant Adventure ?
Follow the instructions on the widget below to enter for your chance to win.
20 winners will get 5 passes each to see the movie at closest theater to them.
Giveaway runs 03/11/2018 to 03/28/2018 .
What are some ways that you teach difficult subjects like the elephant poaching crisis to your children? Share your experiences and ideas with other moms by commenting below.
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