Through Wolf Eyes: The Story of a Gray Wolf
Falmouth, NS: Needham Gate Productions Limited, 1995. VHS, 33 minutes.
Video (plus 1 activity booklet) $29.95.
Classroom pack of 30 activity booklets $30.00.
Family pack of 5 activity booklets $5.00.
Available from: Rising Tide Communications
Box 105, Falmouth, NS, B0P 1L0.
Ph (902) 798-8777, fax (902) 798-5766.
Grades 4 - 6 / Ages 9 - 11.
Review group led by Brian Rountree.
`Hank' Halliday, of Wolf Awareness Inc., is our guide at the start and
end of this `autobiography' of the gray wolf, Lucas, from his birth until
he is fourteen years old. There are two places during the video to stop
and do the activities in the accompanying booklet.
Through Wolf Eyes addresses the negative image of the
gray wolf portrayed in myth, legend and folk-tales. It is loaded with
facts and could form a good jump-off point for further research into
wolves. Surely the whole story of the pack society is not told here! Through Wolf Eyes
could lead to a study of the wolf's place in the ecosystem and help to
eliminate the negative connotation of the word `predator.'
The photography is excellent and gives the viewer a real sense of
the wolf's habitat from the intimate space of the birthing chamber to the larger forest. The narration
is clear. The audio and video are well matched throughout. One wonders
though, why paintings were used for some episodes: one viewer commented
that some parts of the story looked staged -- perhaps the paintings could
have been replaced with such work. Someone looking closely would also
have noticed that some scenes, such as scent marking, were duplicated.
Although the narrator warns against applying human morals to wolves,
we find the story does give human qualities and characteristics to Lucas,
who is "quoted" as saying that his arthritis is slowing him down.
Another concern for one viewer was the use of words such as "solicitous"
and "domain" which young children will not understand.
One viewer recommended the film in these terms -- "It is a good
learning tool for children studying science/biology as it comments on the
life cycle from birth to old age, with all the conditions to face
throughout. It can also suggest comparisons to what they will do
throughout their lives -- birth (dependency), youth (vigour; fun;
learning), maturity (responsibility; provision; survival; sex), aging
(become weaker; earn respect; play with grandchildren)."
Through Wolf Eyes could be used in many areas of the
curriculum. It would also interest non-school viewers such as the Boy
Scouts or those interested in nature studies.
Brian Rountree is a Teacher-Librarian in Thompson, Manitoba. He was
assisted in this review by the students in his evening class on
"Educational Media and Technology."
To comment on this title or this review, send mail to email@example.com
Copyright © 1995 the Manitoba Library Association.
Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice
is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
The Manitoba Library Association
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