Attention, K–5 Teachers!
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network, Inc. (TERN) encourage you and your students to participate in the 34th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest! As part of DNR and TERN’s “Kids for Conservation” initiative, this art contest provides a unique opportunity for kindergarten through fifth-grade students to explore the wonders of Georgia’s native plants and animals through the 2023–24 theme: What’s That? Habitat!
We look forward to working with you and your students at the 34th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest!
Contest Theme, Rules and Entry Form
Contest Rules: Start with a Local Contest at Your School
While following the Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines, instruct your students to design their own artwork based on this year’s contest theme: What’s That? Habitat! Artwork should depict at least one identifiable animal and/or plant native to Georgia. Include a description on the Poster Contest Entry Form, thereby demonstrating that the student understands their subject. Then arrange for a local competition of their artwork at your school or within your group (i.e., homeschool group, after-school camp, scout troop, etc.). School or group judges will select first-, second- and third-place winners (award ribbons and Give Wildlife a Chance certificates are available—refer to Contest Awards section for details).
Participating schools/groups will then choose one first-place winner from each division and email photographs of the winning entries with accompanying entry forms to The State Botanical Garden of Georgia (see Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines below). The deadline to compete in the state-level contest is March 8, 2024. State-level entries will represent one or more of the four division categories described in the Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines section.
First-, second- and third-place winners will be chosen as state-level winners from each division level, and the winning artwork will be announced and showcased on Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division and State Botanical Garden media in May 2024.
(Source: National Park Service)
Ask students what they need to live. Have them name only essential resources. Classify their
answers as food, water, shelter or space (include air in space). Explain that these things
make up the habitat where we live. Wildlife need habitat, too.
To help students remember the components of habitat, teach them the following song and
hand movements, to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
- Food, water, shelter, space… Makes a happy living place,
- I live in my habitat…Eating bits of this and that.
- Food, water, shelter, space… Makes a happy living place!
Food (hands on stomach), Water (hands to lips), Shelter (hands making roof above head), Space
(hands outstretched), Makes a happy living place (fingers point to smiles, head rocking side to side)
Challenge students to identify each living thing in the following song lines (replacing line 2 above):
- I live on a silken bed… Eating insects in my web. (spider)
- I live curled inside my shell… Leaves and grasses serve me well. (snail)
- I live high up in a tree… Fruits and bugs can’t hide from me. (songbird)
- I live in the deep blue sea… Spouting water when I breathe. (whale)
- I make food out in the sun… My toes are long but I can’t run. (plant)
Poster Contest Rules & Guidelines
The contest is open to individual students (no group drawings) in kindergarten through 5th grades.
Homeschool groups, public schools and private schools are encouraged to participate.
Schools/groups may enter one poster from any or all divisions:
- Division 1: Kindergarten
- Division 2: First and Second Grades
- Division 3: Third and Fourth Grades
- Division 4: Fifth Grade
Each school/group may enter no more than a total of four posters to the state-level contest (one entry per division). State-level entries are normally the artwork of the first-place school or homeschool group winners.
Entry & Format Requirements
All state-level artwork entries must be submitted electronically, any size flat artwork is fine as long as it can be photographed well (photos may be taken with a smart phone or camera). Collages and other three-dimensional artwork are not eligible.
For each state level entry, submit a full-frame photo of the artwork a photo of the accompanying completed Entry Form (via email to Audrey S. Mitchell at The State Botanical Garden no later than Friday, March 8, 2024: firstname.lastname@example.org)
ENTRY DEADLINE: Friday, March 8, 2024.
Certificates & Ribbons
Educators may request Give Wildlife a Chance certificates for all students who participate in their local school competition, as well as first-, second-, and third-place ribbons to present to class, grade level or school group participants. There is no limit to the number of certificates or ribbons a participating school can receive.
Email Audrey S. Mitchell (email@example.com) with the following information:
- School name
- Contest coordinator’s contact information (email and street addresses, phone #)
- Total number of students participating in the contest by grade level
- Number of certificates, first place, second place and third place ribbons needed
The artwork of first-, second- and third-place winners in the state-level contest will be showcased on GA DNR Wildlife Resources and State Botanical Garden social media. Winners also will receive state-level award ribbons and may be recognized in other ways.
Special Perks for Teachers & Parents of State Winners!
The teacher and one parent of each state-level winner will receive a free wildlife license plate, thanks to TERN! Details will be emailed to the winning students’ teachers and parents. To see wildlife tag options, visit gadnr.org/license-plates.