Animals, News, Politics

Canada To Get Two Panda Bears

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Giant Panda
Two giant pandas, like the one shown here, are coming to Canada. Image: Sheila Lau

Canada is expecting two very special visitors from China.

Er Shun and Ji Li are two giant panda bears, which China will be lending to Canada. The pair will live in Toronto for five years, and then in Calgary for five years.

The giant panda is unique to China. They are more than just a native species, however. To the Chinese, panda bears are very symbolic.

If China lets one of its panda bears live in a country, it’s a sign that China feels warmly towards that country.

In this case, the offer came during a recent four-day visit to China by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Calgary and Toronto zoos will have to pay a $1-million-a-year “lending fee” to the Chinese government as a result of the deal, The Vancouver Sun reported. The Chinese will put that money towards conserving panda habitats in China.

The hope is that each zoo will more than make up for the $5-million they will spend, through increased sales of tickets and merchandise (for instance, T-shirts with pandas on them and stuffed panda bears).

The pandas are expected to arrive in Canada early next year.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The giant panda is not only a symbol of goodwill and a strong relationship between China and another country, the panda is also thought to be peaceful (because it moves slowly and quietly) and balanced (because it has both black and white markings).

Are you like a panda? Why or why not? If not, what animal would you pick to describe your personality?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
Why do you think so many people are expected to go and visit the pandas in the zoos?

Have you been to a zoo before? Did you learn anything at the zoo that you couldn’t have learned from reading a book or watching a movie about animals?

Primary
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Alphabetizing Words
When we put words in alphabetical order, we look at the first letter in each word and order the words, beginning at ‘a’. If two words begin with the same letter, we need to look at the second letter to figure out which should go first.

Read the following paragraph and then put all of the words in the paragraph in alphabetical order: “The pair will live in Toronto for five years, and then in Calgary for five years.”