Common Core State Standard L.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: Video of a current news event is presented for discussion to encourage student participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the video. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.
Drug kingpin’s hippos are taking over Colombia
The hippopotamuses left behind at the estate of slain drug lord Pablo Escobar have been described as “invasive species” in Colombia’s lakes and rivers. After police killed Escobar in 1993, four hippos escaped from his private zoo and multiplied into a population of 80 to 100 animals. Local people avoid the very dangerous beasts, but oppose proposals to destroy any of them. Waste from the four-ton vegetarians is polluting the water and causing algae blooms and fish die-offs.
■Class discussion: What is an invasive species? What can they do to local environments and native species? Hippos kill 500 about people a year in their native Africa – twice as many as lions. Should Colombia’s hippos be killed to protect the local environment? Why or why not? The hippos are the largest wild animals to roam the Americas since arrival of another invasive species killed off all the mammoths, giant sloths and other large American mammals about 12,000 years ago. What was that species which is also the world’s top predator?