flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

March 10, 2011

Environmental Disasters!

Have I mentioned just how much I enjoy my classes this year? Chemistry has been beautiful – I have so many hard working kids! And environmental? Well, I never thought I’d like teaching this… LOVE IT! So interesting! Even the kids are interested!

While doing a unit on freshwater ecosystems with my seniors, I decided to have a detour into the land of invasive species. See, we’re supposed to have them read science articles and do all sorts of writing and analyzing. But find a science article that’s fun for the average kid to read. Your challenge for the week! (mine EVERY week).

OK, so last week, I decided to do a lesson on the northern snakehead. Before I had them read the two short articles, I did a video intro. I started with this stellar clip from the Snakehead Terror SyFy movie. We got a little chuckle before I pointed out that there is some truth in fiction.

We discussed a little, and they read the two short articles about 1) the start of the snakehead problem and 2) what scientists are trying to do about it. While they read, they asked lots of questions (I still can’t find exactly why it’s called a snakehead). The kids really, really liked this lesson. I have never had such high participation in writing the essay at the end.

Here is their thought question, and my absolutely favorite answer (not scanned because I’m lazy):

Question, in short: do you believe the scientists’ actions (in trying to control
the snakehead) are really necessary?

Answer: “Yes, I do think that what the scientists are doing is necessary because they don’t want these snakeheads, or “frankenfish” as they call them to get so huge that they can’t stop it and before it gets to any humans to try to wipe out the US population.”

Not tongue in cheek. I guess I should have been more clear that the first was a bad SyFy channel movie trailer.


This week’s article is about how climate change could make river levels rise – and since Philly is surrounded by rivers, I’m hoping to make them see it could affect them before they read the article. So I was looking for clips about how water levels are changing due to climate change… and don’t you know, the ad that paid for every single one I could watch (youtube and vimeo are blocked here) was a car ad. Not a green car, or electric car, but a regular old infernal combustion engine. Sponsoring a video about climate change. Is that irony? (Damn you, alanis morrissette, for making me question my understanding of that term!)



Blogger cube said...

As soon as I read the northern snakehead, I immediately thought of Snakehead Terror. Geek alert,
I know *sigh*

Your class sounds like fun.

RE: the river flooding lesson, I wouldn't go here ;-)

And yes, irony has never been more misunderstood since Alanis sang her song.

March 10, 2011 11:35 AM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

Cube! I needed that film today! I ended up showing this stupid CNN clip about these monks whose temple was sinking. I understand the need for proxy filtering, but daggone, sometimes it makes my life hard.


March 10, 2011 12:24 PM  

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