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About This Lesson Plan


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Owen & Mzee Teaching Resources

Meet Owen & Mzee

Haller Park

In this activity, students will go on a journey to Kenya, Africa and learn more about the ecosystem at Haller Park. Students will create a 3-dimensional representation of Haller Park, filled with plants and animals, like Owen & Mzee.


Students will:

  • Learn about ecosystems
  • Build world geography skills and learn more about Africa
  • Work together as a team on a class project
  • Utilize creativity



Map of Haller Park; Magazines; Scrap paper; Cardboard; Craft Materials
Note: Actual animal figurines or real plant life is not allowed


  1. Explain to students that Owen and Mzee live on a reservation in Kenya, Africa called Haller Park. Many animals live there as well as Kenya in general. This project will help the class learn more about the ecosystem at Haller Park and the country of Kenya.
  2. Define ecosystem: An ecological community together with its environment, functioning as a unit.
  3. In preparation, create a large map of Haller Park on the floor or on a table in the classroom. There do not need to be many details, beyond borders, a few ponds and a river. Those landmarks can be distributed throughout the map as desired (an accurate map of Haller Park is not necessary).
  4. Students will then be assigned different plants and animals that inhabit the area (see list below).
  5. The class will then have the epic job of creating a 3-dimensional representation of Haller Park. Each student will be in charge of finding materials either supplied in class (magazines, scrap paper, cardboard, etc.) or at home to make their particular plant or animal for the map.
  6. Ask each student to do research on the plant or animal, to answer the questions below.
  7. Before an object is moved onto the map, the student will make a short oral presentation about the plant or animal. The following questions should be answered:
    • What is the Swahili name for this plant or animal?
    • Is this plant or animal endangered?
    • Where in Kenya can one find this organism outside of Haller Park?
    • How does this organism fit into the ecosystem?
  8. Once the last organism is placed, the teacher should take a photo of the map with the students standing in the back - they'd love a copy in Kenya!