Spring study of puffins leads to t-shirt campaign

Students in Mrs. Elwell’s third grade class at the St. George School have been working hard for the past six weeks studying the life of an Atlantic Puffin as part of their spring Expedition. Students were asked to read and write informational text about the different aspects of an Atlantic Puffin’s life, and then created a scratch art design for a t-shirt. Students developed the goal of selling the t-shirts to raise $100 for Project Puffin. With a $100 donation to Project Puffin, students can “Adopt-a-Puffin” and they will receive a picture, biography, and book specific to a puffin on Eastern Egg Rock.

Students collaborated on the t-shirt design, with each child illustrating a specific part of the Atlantic Puffin’s life cycle. Then, they wrote a persuasive piece to be published in the St. George Dragon, advertising their t-shirt sale. Students presented their speeches to several classes at the school and the audience members voted on the speeches they thought were the most convincing. The three pieces excerpted here are the three winners.

The t-shirt design and sale serve two purposes–for students to collaborate and produce a high-quality product with service to the local community in mind. We hope to see you at the Celebration for Learning on June 12 where you can purchase a t-shirt for $15 to support our Expedition goal—and the local community! —Meghan Elwell

Isaiah Felton’s t-shirt pitch:
You need to purchase our t-shirts because we will use that money to buy a puffin. The money will also help “Project Puffin” and learn more about puffins. You want that, right?
Did you know that puffins almost went extinct once? Well, they did. Do you, my friends, want that to happen again? Kirk Gentalen, a seabird consultant said, “People would put nets over the puffins’ burrows to catch them.” Trash and gulls are the biggest bad things, so don’t litter and chase away the gulls…

…So, will everyone just stop putting trash in the ocean? It hurts me that I know that people might like puffins or think puffins are cool, but still put trash or any other bad things in the ocean. But what really stuns me is that people used to shoot puffins. If you buy our t-shirts, then you can help these beautiful harmless puffins.

MaKayla Kalloch’s t-shirt pitch:
Did you know that if you do not buy the t-shirts puffins could go extinct? Even though puffins are not dogs, cats, or animals you like maybe you could learn to like puffins?…

…You are not realizing what you are doing. Just imagine if all the plants and animals in this world went extinct, you would not have any food. You would die and there would be nothing on this planet because you throw trash in the ocean or on the ground. If you want a t-shirt come to the Celebration of Learning at St. George School on June 12 and buy our t-shirt design to support Project Puffin!

Zoe Hufnagel’s t-shirt pitch:
Did you know there was only one pair of puffins in Maine at one time? A man named Steve Kress set out to save puffins and now there are a lot. Still, buy a t-shirt and the population will grow even more.

If you buy our t-shirts, you can help puffins. A lot of things can make puffins die. One way they die is from predators like gulls and peregrine falcons. Puffins can also die from oil spills, boats, fishing nets, and more. Buy a t-shirt and we can help keep those things from happening.

How would you feel if humans were going extinct? I know I would be very hurt. I bet puffins felt that way once. Please help us help the puffins.

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