An Ethology Sojourn
INTRODUCTORY COMMENTSThis activity lasts about two weeks, and is conducted in the Spring in Iowa- where migratory brids and dormant insects can be found plentifully. It entails the following goals and objectives:
PREREQUISITES TO SUCCESSA. students should have prior exposure to the general concepts in ethology:
DAY 1:Students meet in a natural area near the high school, (in our case, it's a heavily wooded, meandering creek south of the high school). Along on the walk we take nature guides and binoculars. Students are invited to identify as many animals as possible within the class period, and record behaviors observed, and causes (stimuli) for what they observe.
DAY 2 AND ONBased upon data gathered yesterday, students identify a particular species they wish to know more about. In groups, they strategize,organize and delegate to meet the following criteria as we discuss it:
THE LOGISTICSAvailable to students throughout the 10 day investigation are: Field guides, additional binoculars, animal encyclopedias, CD Rom (infotrac), library for small groups, poster board, overhead, video camera, and miscellaneous materials for assembling a presentation.
THE PRODUCTIONAt the end of two weeks of study, student groups submit logs, and present findings of behavioral study- complete with mapped territories, background research, observed behaviors, and any other- in a variety of formats- lecture w/aids, video, role playing, etc.
THE GRADINGA rubric is presented to students at the outset: detailing four categories: Conduct, Outdoor observations quality, research depth and breadth, written work quality