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PBL: Ecosystems - Chimpanzees in the Entertainment Industry

Wednesday, January 28, 2015



  1. Students will learn all of the 4th grade SOL objectives for the Ecosystems Unit.
  2. Students will integrate science, math, technology, reading, writing, and social studies.
  3. Students will complete a service project about animals for the Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots Program.

Chimpanzees in the Entertainment Industry


Nanji, the chimp, was born in Africa and taken from his mother as an infant. He was forced to work in movies, television shows, and pose for greeting cards. When he reached the age of 6, he was too big to handle and was no longer needed. How can we stop the kidnapping of chimpanzees for use in the entertainment industry and how can we help retired chimps like Nanji?

Culminating Activity

Students will research and promote multiple solutions such as:

  • Signing a Petition on or the No Great Apes in Entertainment Pledge.
  • Writing and signing a class pledge to boycott products and movies using trained chimps.
  • Writing letters to legislators and government officials to pass the Captive Primate Safety Act.
  • Write letters to production companies, Hallmark, and other advertisers that use chimps and offer alternatives such as computer imaging (CGI), animatronics, and editing with chimps in their natural habitat.
  • Support chimp sanctuaries by making and sending chimpinatas or enrichment necklaces made of cereal and dried fruit for the animals.
  • Choose a sanctuary such as Chimp Inc. or to support or contact for educational outreach.
  • Making presentations to inform others about their PBL unit.
Problem Question

How can students take action against the use of chimpanzees as entertainment and support sanctuaries that enhance the lives of captive apes?

Student Role

Student Primatologists who will research ecosystems, scientists, chimpanzees, and human impact. Their role is to develop a service project to take action against the use of apes as entertainment and support retired chimps.

download.jpgEcosystems PBL Unit Overview Kersey Creek 4th Grade.pdf

Question Map:


download.jpgEcosystems PBL Unit Question Map Kersey Creek 4th Grade.pdf

This unit created by Kersey Creek Elementary School.

by Chris Mystkowski at 11:04 AM in Elementary, Earth and Space Science, Problem Based Learning/PBL
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