Conditions of Use
What we might learn from talking about some wise, old, owls.
People in the know are enjoying a wonderful wildlife spectacle in British Columbia these days. Snowy owls are flocking to Boundary Bay. We got to talking about them in class and why it is that these beautiful, large birds would come from their home in the arctic. We don't normally see snowy owls around Vancouver and certainly not in large numbers like this. Apparently, their visits occur every several years when the population of lemmings goes into decline (see this story from CBC News).
Many puzzled faces told me that many of us did not know what a lemming was, so we talked about them. Of course, the familiar story about lemmings following one another en masse over cliffs came up, leaving many in the class incredulous. Our diverted discussion was brief. We talked about how nice it would be to go see the owls and moved on to other lessons on our agenda. Though I knew the story had piqued the class's interest, I was surprised to find that the main activity in the classroom during our inside rainy day lunch period was searching for and watching videos of lemmings collectively following others making bad choices.
Between the students' giggles, they kept asking, "Why would they do that?" Why indeed! What a great question for budding young scientific minds to ponder! Perhaps some in my class will do some more digging for information. Perhaps one of our readers will chime in with some thoughts, info, or expertise. One observer has already offered that she had heard that some of the famed clif-diving video used in a documentary about lemmings was faked. Imagine, someone publishing information that was untrue! Not only do budding scientists need to make sure that their investigations are based on reliable, accurate information, but thinking citizens need to ask questions and to know how to discern good information from tall tales. So, I'm inviting our class to ask whether the stories and videos about the lemmings are true AND (more importantly) how they know, because if we don't question & investigate what we see and what we hear, we won't build knowledge, and we might even be guilty of just following the other lemmings.
Article posted January 25, 2012 at 05:36 PM •
comment • Reads 6185
see all articles
My Classes & Students
About the Blogger
We support Pennies for Peace
Click on the Geovisitors link below to see visits in the last 24 hours.
Latest 10 Comments: