Reflection: Rigor How Do Herds Help Animals? - Section 2: Explore


It is very difficult for students not to anthropomorphize the animals they observe in the videos. This occurs for several reasons, the most prominent of which are:  their compassion for and desire to understand the animals and their lack of access to the necessary vocabulary to describe it otherwise.

An example of this is when most of the students described the elk that was left behind as sad, a baby, and lonely.  I complimented their care for the animal and then asked them the following guiding questions:

What evidence do you have that it is a baby?  (It's smaller)

So what could you write?  (The elk that was trapped behind the fence was one of the smaller ones).

How do you know it is sad?  (It keeps running up and down the fence).

So instead of saying that it is sad, what could you write that would be precise and objective?

(The elk ran up and down along the fence several times, looking over at where the other elk where).

  The Urge to Anthropomorphize
  Rigor: The Urge to Anthropomorphize
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How Do Herds Help Animals?

Unit 7: Animal Groups
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: SWBAT use digital media to observe animal herds, take notes only about what they observe, and write an expository paragraph.

Big Idea: Scientific observation means writing down what you observe, not guessing or inferring.

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15 teachers like this lesson
Science, predator, prey, animal, Groups, herds
  60 minutes
elephant group lesson image 157510232
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