Tiger Homes Lesson
technology is allowing scientists and non-scientist new glimpses
into the lives of many species.
students log on to the tiger homes web site at www.tigerhomes.org
and visit one of their camera sites. Here we can see a great
way that technology allows us all to observe the behavior of
lemurs and tigers and lions. But the use of technology isn't
limited to experts. Students can make their own video or still
footage records of the behavior of animals closer to home.
the class has a pet, (hamster, mouse, guinea pig etc.) a video
camera can be used to record the behavior of even this familiar
friend. Set up the camera near the cage, focus it on the occupant's
feeding area and run the camera at the time when he or she
usually eats. Or set the camera to cover the whole cage area
and run it for half-hour periods when the occupant is active.
the camera will catch behavior that the casual observer misses.
And when viewed slowly and carefully new things can be learned.
-Does the subject eat food in a particular way? If its diet is a mixture of
foods, are some eaten first? Are others ignored?
-Does the subject groom in a special area in its cage? Does it eliminate in
a particular area? Does it play in a particular area?
-How does the subject groom itself?
-What kind of vocalizations does it make?
slowing down the tape speed details of behavior can be observed
and students can pause tape to look at details of anatomy and
perhaps draw and study them further.
If students make a particularly good tape the guys at Tiger Homes would be
thrilled to see it and perhaps put it up on their web site. Contact information
is available at the site.
Objectives: deepened understanding of animal behavior,
application of technology to study of animal behavior
Powers of Myths and Myth Makers
scientists can tell us a great deal about the lives of the
animals with which we share our world. But native peoples have
always been keen observers of their animal neighbors. Their
understanding helped them to live side by side, often in relative
harmony with the other animals in their world. Their knowledge
also helped them be effective hunters of prey, and evaders
of potential predators. Indigenous peoples had a deep respect
for the plants and animals they encountered. This respect was/is
displayed in many ways
not the least of which lies in
the stories they told about the animals.
students research Native American myths associated with a species
native to North America. There are numerous sites on-line,
and books such as "American Indian Myths and Legends" are
good sources for some of these stories.
each student bring one of these stories to class and retell
the tale to their classmates. They should not read the stories
aloud; but tell them as the original participants would have
told them. After completing the tale, have the class discuss
how the observed behavior of the animal in the wild might have
been the inspiration for the story created about them.
students choose an animal they have studied and or observed
in some detail and have them make a modern myth about that
animal. The story should in some way (this can be tenuous)
reflect an element of the animal's behavior, but should also
tell us something about the world in which the student lives.
students choose a Native American animal myth, or one that
they or their classmates have written and create a piece of
illustrative artwork. These can be contemporary in style or
can reflect a traditional style of art.
introduction to Native American perceptions and observations
of native species, integration of science and art
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