Dead as a dodo


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Theme: Extinction Key words/themes: Taking responsibility for our actions, Thinking before we act


Sometimes we do things without thinking about the consequences. For example, if a toddler wants something from the top of a table, he/she may pull themselves up on the tablecloth.

They don’t think about the fact that as well as the biscuit they are after; there is a hot cup of tea that might fall on them.

The story of the dodo is similar.

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For thousands of years, the dodo bird lived happily on Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean.

Around about the year 1510, some sailors were exploring the Indian Ocean when they spotted a lovely island (Mauritius) and they decided to land to get some food and water. As they pulled their rowing boats up the beach, they looked for signs of life and inhabitants, but they soon realised that this island was uninhabited.

Their first task was to look for some food - and just at that moment, out from the bushes came .. a large .. feathered .. what? It had a huge, thick, hooked beak or bill. It had huge feet, short stubby wings that were so small it could not fly. It had a fat, squat body topped off by three plumes of feathers.

The poor dodo was very inquisitive. It was not frightened since anything or anyone had never hunted it. In fact it was one of the largest animals on the island. And since it was not hunted- the dodo did not have to run very fast.

The sailors had seen nothing like it – it was a bit like a huge turkey. A few hours later, the sailors were enjoying a meal of roasted dodo – but it was not the delicacy they had hoped.

Its meat was bitter and tough – but this did not stop the sailors who were hungry enough to eat any meat they could find.

And thus the first .. ever .. dodo bird was killed.

Ands this went on. Every time another boat landed at the island, another few dodo birds were eaten. And with the sailors came rats, dogs and, once some of the sailors had settled on the island – pigs, dogs and cats.

And what with all those and the sailors – slowly and steadily there were fewer and fewer dodo birds – until, one day, in the year 1680 - a sailor was walking though the woods and he saw a dodo – walking up to him. It was not frightened of him, nor could it run away. The dodo should have looked a little lonely – because it was very, very lonely. He had not found any other dodo’s for a long time! The sailor got a big stick and killed not just this dodo – but the last dodo.

And today – the only dodo you will see is one that is stuffed in the National History Museum.

Pupils' response

Who do you think was to blame – the sailor who killed the first dodo .. or the sailor who killed the last one? Prayer: Dear God, Before we do things, help us to think through the consequences of our actions. Before we speak, help us to thing through the effect our words may have on others. May we be able to be proud of our actions, not ashamed of them. Amen

The greatest designer

Theme: We try and create things, design and produce things that are so wonderful, but the greatest Creator and Designer in the world is…….. ? Key words/themes: Creation, Design, Being pleased for someone’s achievements