Thursday, August 25, 2011

Animals sensing danger...how did they react?

     I actually found something positive and interesting in the newspaper today!  There was a report about how the zookeepers at the National Zoo in Washington DC recorded animal reactions prior to, during and after the earthquake we felt on Tuesday.  Hmmmm...sounds like a science notebook to me! I have always had an affinity for zoologists starting as a small girl curled up on my couch watching the many programs on TV staring Jane Goodall and her ground breaking research spent observing chimpanzees. 

     Do you know how she recorded information? Much like these modern scientists/zookeepers did - anecdotal records... No formal scientific method lock step cookbook recipe.  No, she took notes on what the animals were doing and made conclusions later.

    So what did the zookeepers notice on Tuesday?  The flamingos grouped together in a herd, the gorilla grabbed her baby and went to a high tree, the komodo dragon sought shelter, the lemurs called out a warning cry 15 minutes prior to the quake, and the beavers and ducks jumped in the water.  Some of these observations did not surprise me...like the fact that the gorilla grabbed her baby or the flamingos grouped together.  But some left me wondering more...why did the gorillas seek a high spot (a tree like structure)?  And why did the animals jump in the water?  Was it because that is where they feel safest? or is there a scientific reason behind it?

    So how can we apply this to the classroom?  I for one plan to bring in the article from the paper and read it to the kids and ask them what they thought about it...what do they wonder now?  I also have some wild life in my classroom...crayfish and beetles to start the year.  We, too, will make many observations based on structural and behavioral adaptations (FOSS - Structures of Life) We will record our observations in our science notebook using diagrams, note taking, and questioning...as we, too act like real world zookeepers, zoologists and naturalists in real world jobs.  How cool is that?



3 comments:

  1. Hey there! Bet you can figure out who this is if you click over to my blog! You convinced me that I want to try to blog throughout this year. I agree... it's very interesting to compare everyone's observations of animals' reactions to the earthquake, and I can't wait to talk about it with my kids once school starts. What an awesome way to start science for the year! :)

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  2. Mrs. Smith,
    I think I do know who you are but want to make sure...what is your blog address???

    Leslie

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  3. smithinfifth.blogspot.com

    You should be able to click over to it through my profile!

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