A search for a missing rhino becomes a plan to save all of the black rhinos in Karibuni. As students follow clues, collect evidence, and defend their reasoning, they will trace connections between science, society, and the environment. Can they find a way to protect the black rhino?
Saving the Black Rhino Game Common Core Standards:
Saving the Black Rhino Game Common Core Standards
Target grade level: 5 Appropriate for grades: 4-7
Subject: Science/Social Studies Available languages: English
Common Core Standards:
Reading Standards for Literature: The following standards offer a focus for instruction each year and help ensure that players gain adequate exposure to a range of texts and tasks. Rigor is also infused through the requirement that players read increasingly complex texts through the grades. players advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year's grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Educator Resources
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7: Make connection between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text. players will need to apply skills covered by these standards to progress through the game. The TGs support these standards throughout, particularly on: Pre-Mission, pp. 3, 5-8 Mission 1, pp. 3-4, 6-7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy RL.5.7: Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the Mission 2, pp. 3-4 meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem). Mission 3, pp. 3-4
Range and Level of Text Complexity CCSS-ELA-Literacy.RL.5.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1: Quote accurately Unit Snapshot, pp. 1-2 from a text when explaining what the text says Pre-Mission, p. 7 explicitly and when drawing inferences from the Mission 1, pp. 3-4 text. Mission 2, pp. 3-4 Mission 3, pp. 3-4
Environmentalist Notebook, pp. 7, 8-9, 10, 11, 13 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2: Determine two or Unit Snapshot, pp. 1-2 more main ideas of a text and explain how they Pre-Mission, p. 7 are supported by key details; summarize the Mission 1, pp. 3-4, 6-7 text. Mission 2, pp. 3-4 Mission 3, pp. 3-4
Environmentalist Notebook, p. 7, 8-9 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3: Explain the Unit Snapshot, pp. 1-2 relationships or interactions between two or Pre-Mission, p. 7 more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a Mission 1, pp. 3-4, 6-7 historical, scientific, or technical text based on Mission 3, pp. 3-4 specific information in the text. Environmentalist Notebook, pp. 7, 8-9, 10, 13
Craft and Structure CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area. players will need to apply skills covered by this standard to progress through the game. The TGs support this standard throughout, particularly on: Unit Snapshot, pp. 1-2 Mission 1, p. 2, 3-4, 6-7 Mission 2, pp. 2, 3-4 Mission 3, pp. 2, 3-4 Environmentalist Notebook, p. 14
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.5: Compare and Pre-Mission, pp. 3, 7 contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, Mission 3, p. 3 comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts. Environmentalist Notebook, p. 7, 8-9
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.6: Analyze multiple Unit Snapshot, pp. 1-2 accounts of the same event or topic, noting Pre-Mission, p. 4 important similarities and differences in the point Mission 1, pp. 3-4, 6-7 of view they represent. Mission 2, pp. 3-4 Mission 3, pp. 3-4 Environmentalist Notebook, pp. 5, 7, 10, 11, 13
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.7: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently. players will need to apply skills covered by this standard to progress through the game. The TGs support this standard throughout, particularly on: Unit Snapshot, pp. 1-2 Pre-Mission, pp. 7-8 Mission 1, pp. 3-4 Mission 2, pp. 3-4, 5 Mission 3, pp. 3-4, 5 Environmentalist Notebook, pp. 5, 7, 8-9, 10, 11, 13 Range of
Reading and Level of Text Complexity CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently. players will need to apply skills covered by this standard to progress through the game. The TGs support this standard throughout.
The Rhino Game is designed to help players understand the complex issues involved in balancing the needs of a local community's economic health with humankind's responsibility to protect endangered species.
Players arrive in a virtual representation of the real Karibuni Game Reserve and nearby Kisiwani Village in Tanzania, Africa. There they are immediately immersed in the plight of the Black Rhino, one of the most critically endangered animal species on Earth. They begin their work by helping the reserve determine how many rhinos, zebras, giraffes, and elephants the reserve can sustain, and into which type of habitat each animal should be placed.
After that, they find themselves in the midst of a local argument over the allocation of government funds to improve a local economy that was damaged when prime farming and grazing land was given over to the animal reserve. Players face the consequences of their decisions when they travel into the future to see how funding one opportunity over another affects the local population, both human and animal.
Activities at a glance:
Wildlife Management: players learn about the needs of several "charismatic mega fauna," large mammals of the savannah popular with tourists and protected by Mkomazi National Park. They explore different habitats that the park has to offer, and test different ways of distributing the mammals on the landscape so that each will be located in the habitat they need to survive and thrive.
People and the Landscape: players identify tensions between different groups of people who live and work in and around the parkland. They interview park administrators, visitors, nearby farmers and shopkeepers, and nomads, and even overhear some poachers, all of whom are looking to the same landscape to provide things like food, water, fuel, and livelihood.
Government: players make a recommendation to the local government choosing whether it should invest in ecotourism or local farmers. They travel to the future of the park to explore the consequences of their recommendation, and have an opportunity to offer a more nuanced solution after looking at some of the negative side effects of an either/or solution.
Unit Missions Walkthough
Rhino: Mission 1 "Tutorial: Navigation/Inventory"
Find the baby rhino! [<1 class period]
This mission introduces players to the people and the parkland of Karibuni, a fictional village facing real environmental choices in Tanzania. They explore various habitats in the local ecosystem and learn what rhinos need to thrive.
Rhino: Mission 2 "Simulate Resources"
Karibuni: Animalator [1 class period]
Players will work with the wildlife habitats in Karibuni Nature Reserve in more detail as they decide how many of several types of animals each area of the park can support based on resources different types of animals need.
Rhino: Mission 3 "Meet the Villagers"
Karibuni: Meet the village [1/2 - 1 class period]
Players talk to members of farming and cattle-herding communities around the Karibuni Nature Reserve to learn how the reserve affects them.
Rhino: Mission 4 "Meet the Officials"
Karibuni: Interview officials [1/2 - 1 class period]
Players interview park and government officials to learn the importance of the reserve in the region.
Rhino: Mission 5 "Poachers"
Karibuni: Poachers! [1/2 class period]
A close encounter with would-be poachers spurs players to discover some of the factors that drive poaching and measures that park officials take to try to prevent it.
Rhino: Mission 6 "Who Gets Funding"
Karibuni: Funding for the future [1-2 class periods]
New funds are available to improve Karibuni village, and the government is discussing two choices: invest in local farmers who wish to expand their crop yield, or invest in ecotourism, which could provide revenue and employment. Players use evidence from their habitat planning and their talks with stakeholders to make a recommendation to the government.
Rhino: Mission 7 "Farming, Tourism, and Balanced Funding"
Karibuni: Test the plan [1-2 class periods]
Players use a mysterious device to explore what the village and the park would be like in the future if the government followed their recommendation. They then may revise their plan to make any recommendation they think would be more effective. They are encouraged to reflect on their role as an outsider in the game scenario itself and link it to situations in the real world. Finally, they are asked to look at an endangered species in their own region and briefly research local efforts to manage that species.
Final discussion [1/2 class period]
• How can both opportunities and restrictions imposed from beyond a region affect the humans, animals, plants, and natural resources there?
• Who had the power to make decisions? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages to different stakeholders?
• What are some ways the rhino situation might be similar to that of an endangered species in your area? What ways is the situation different?