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Hinduism and the Elephant
Grade Level: 6-8

Anamalai: What About the People?
Grade Level 6-8

Anamalai Gliders: Flying Lizards
Grade Level 6-8

Authors: Betsy Hedberg and Mark Moss
Hinduism and the Elephant
Grade Level: 6-8

Introduction
An important component of Hinduism is its reverence for nature as a whole and for certain animals in particular. This lesson has students learn about the basics of the Hindu religion and about the significance of the elephant as a creature of rebirth and renewal.

Estimated Time
3 class periods (including watching the video)

Lesson Objectives
Students will:
  • Discuss their previous knowledge of religious traditions and of animals serving as religious symbols.
  • Map the ranges of the Hindu religion and the Asian elephant.
  • Read and answer questions about the Hindu religion and the importance of the elephant in Hindu religion and mythology.
  • Watch The Living Edens: Anamalai, and take notes on evidence for the Hindu cycle of rebirth and regeneration.
  • Prepare booklets to help visitors to Anamalai understand the importance of the elephant to Hinduism and the related elephant characteristics they can expect to observe.
Correlation to National Geography Standards
Curriculum Standards (#'s 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10) for National Geography

The geography standards can be accessed at the National Council for Geographic Education Web site: http://www.ncge.org/publications/tutorial/standards.

Students will be able to:
  • Analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface.
  • Describe the physical and human characteristics of some places on the Earth.
  • Understand and provide examples of how culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.
  • Describe the characteristics and spatial distribution of some of the Earth's ecosystems.
  • Describe the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of some of the Earth's cultural mosaics.
Correlation to National Social Studies Standards
Curriculum Standards (I and III) for Social Studies

The social studies standards can be accessed at the National Council for the Social Studies Web site: http://www.ncss.org/standards/2.0.html.

Students will be able to:
  • Provide examples of Hindu culture.
  • Provide examples of the interactions between people, places, and environments.
Materials Needed
  • A map showing the range of the Hindu religion
  • A map showing the range of the Asian elephant
  • Blank outline maps of South Asia (or of the entire Asian continent) - one copy for each student
  • VCR and TV
  • Computer with Internet connection (ideal, but not mandatory)
Teaching Strategy

Ask students to think about the religious traditions they've studied, both past and present. What symbols are present in some of the religions that they remember learning about? Can they think of examples of animals being used as religious symbols or being worshipped by followers of the religion?

Tell the class that the elephant is extremely important to the Hindu religion of India. Bring in maps showing the ranges of Hinduism and the Asian elephant, or have students look at the maps online at The Status of the Asian Elephant (http://www.panda.org/resources/publications/species/w-elephants/page5.htm) and World Distribution of Hinduism (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Hindu#Current_geographic_distribution). Give each student a blank outline map of South Asia (available at the National Geographic Xpeditions Atlas: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/main.html) and ask them to use two different colored pencils to shade these ranges.

If students have access to the Internet, have them go to the Master of New Beginnings section of the Living Edens: Anamalai Web site (http://www.pbs.org/edens/anamalai/master.html). If you don't have access to the Internet, print out the Living Edens pages. Ask students to pay particular attention to the role of the elephant in the Hindu religion and mythology, and have them fill in the table on the handout with relevant information. They'll answer these questions:
  • What are the basic beliefs of Hinduism?
  • What is the significance of the elephant to Hinduism?
  • Who is Ganesh, and what is his role in Hinduism?
  • What specific examples of the elephant can be found in Hindu mythology and religious teachings?
Define and discuss the concepts of rebirth and regeneration. What do these words mean? What do they mean in the context of the elephant and Hinduism? Make sure all students are comfortable with these concepts before showing them the program.

Have students watch The Living Edens: Anamalai, and ask them to look for examples of the cycle of renewal and rebirth that is so important to the Hindu religion. They should pay particular attention to the elephant behaviors and characteristics that may be particularly significant to the elephant's high status in Hinduism. They'll also hear about rebirth in the overall ecosystem, such as during the monsoon season. The following clips from the video are particularly relevant, but ideally there will be time for students to watch the entire program as they look for signs of renewal and rebirth. Ask them to take notes in section 2 of the handout.

4:00 - 4:38
Elephant shrine and description of the elephant as a living incarnation of the great god Ganesh, the lord of beginnings and the initiator of events

9:09 - 9:35
The monsoons contribute to the rebirth and regeneration of the land, which is the foundation of India's spiritual respect for all of nature

19:12 - 20:43
When elephants dust themselves, they stir up the dust and create new ecosystems; this allows other animals, such as the digger wasp, to live

23:18 - 24:24
Each footstep the elephant makes as it walks through the mud creates a small pool that becomes a self-contained ecosystem

Ask students to pretend that a tour company that leads Americans into southern India, including Anamalai, has hired them. Their job is to write small booklets that will give the travelers a background on the following aspects of their trip:
  • A brief introduction to the Hindu religion.
  • A discussion of the significance of the elephant to the Hindu religion.
  • A brief introduction to the range and habitat of the Asian elephant.
  • A description of the elephant behaviors visitors can expect to observe and an explanation of how these behaviors may have contributed to the elephant's revered status in Hinduism.
Have students create their booklets by folding and stapling several pieces of paper together. Ask them to leave room for some drawings, and let them illustrate the booklets with appropriate images.

Assessment Recommendations
Since every class is different, every teacher will assess students in slightly different ways. However, areas of consideration should include the following:
  • Participating in class discussions.
  • Carefully following all directions.
  • Accurately shading the ranges of Hinduism and the Asian elephant on their maps.
  • Answering the questions in section 1 of the handout with thoughtful answers that reflect a thorough examination of the information at the Anamalai Web site.
  • Taking notes in section 2 of the handout, reflecting a close viewing of the program and an understanding of the concepts of rebirth and regeneration.
  • Creating neat and thorough brochures that contain all the required components and that indicate a clear understanding of the instructions and content.
Extensions/Adaptations
Have students research the significance of other animals to the Hindu religion, such as the cow. Ask them to write essays answering these questions: In what ways are these animals important to Hindus? How does Hinduism require its followers to treat these animals? What types of shrines and monuments have been built to honor these animals? What Hindu myths and stories mention these animals?

Have students find out about the locations and significance of some famous Hindu shrines. Ask them to label these shrines on an outline map of India and to number each one. On a separate piece of paper, have them write descriptions of the shrines next to their numbers, explaining the reasons why each shrine is of particular interest and importance to Hinduism.

Student Handout
Use this handout to take notes as you read about Hinduism and the elephant's role in that religion.
  • What are the basic beliefs of Hinduism?
  • What is the significance of the elephant to Hinduism?
  • Who is Ganesh, and what is his role in Hinduism?
  • What specific examples of the elephant can be found in Hindu mythology and religious teachings?
As you watch The Living Edens: Anamalai, take notes on the things you see that have to do with rebirth and regeneration. For example, you'll see some elephant behaviors in which the elephant does something to create new habitats for other species. Write brief descriptions of all these examples.

Anamalai: What About the People?
Grade Level 6-8

Introduction

As students will see in The Living Edens: Anamalai, southern India is a highly biodiverse region. The program illustrates this region's unique ecosystem and animal species, but, in keeping with the Living Edens tradition, it does not show any evidence of humans. This lesson asks students to watch the video and think about how human activities might impact Anamalai. It then asks them to compare Anamalai with some other high biodiversity regions and with their own home region and to hypothesize the environmental threats that Anamalai might face.

Estimated Time
4 class periods (including watching the video)

Lesson Objectives
Students will:
  • Discuss the possible impacts of high population density on the natural environment.
  • Read some background information on Anamalai.
  • Analyze a population distribution map and compare the population density of southern India to that of other regions.
  • View the Living Edens: Anamalai program and take notes on the ways in which human activities might impact Anamalai's ecosystem and inhabitants.
  • Compare thematic maps of southern India, East Africa, the Amazon, and students' home region, and take notes on human activities, population density, and physical geographical features for these regions.
  • Write articles to an environmental conservation magazine describing southern India's ecosystems, comparing southern India to other regions, and hypothesizing the most significant human impacts on southern India's ecosystems.
Correlation to National Geography Standards
Curriculum Standards (#'s 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10) for National Geography
The geography standards can be accessed at the National Council for Geographic Education Web site: http://www.ncge.org/publications/tutorial/standards.

Students will be able to:
  • Analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's surface.
  • Describe the physical and human characteristics of some places on the Earth.
  • Understand and provide examples of how culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.
  • Describe the characteristics and spatial distribution of some of the Earth's ecosystems.
  • Describe the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of some of the Earth's cultural mosaics.
Correlation to National Social Studies Standards
Curriculum Standard (III) for Social Studies
The social studies standards can be accessed at the National Council for the Social Studies Web site: http://www.ncss.org/standards/2.0.html.

Students will be able to:
Provide examples of the interactions between people, places, and environments.

Materials Needed
  • VCR and TV
  • Computer with Internet connection (ideal, but not mandatory)
  • Thematic world maps showing population density, human activities (i.e. transportation, energy), and physical geographical features (i.e. vegetation zones, precipitation) (or have students create these maps on the Internet). A great resource is National Geographic's Map Machine at http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine/.
  • Political world map at the front of the classroom (available at National Geographic's Map Machine: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/maps/index.html)
Teaching Strategy
  1. Ask students if they can name the first and second most populous countries in the world. They should say China and India. Have students point these countries out on a world map, and tell them that China has approximately 1.3 billion people and India has approximately 1 billion people. Make sure they understand the concept of population density, and inform them that India is 100 times more densely populated than the United States. Ask them to state some of the ways in which they think a region's high population density might affect its natural environment. You can draw an analogy to the impacts of cities and towns on the natural environment in the United States; what do students know about the ways in which local human settlements impact their natural surroundings? Write their ideas on the board.
  2. Point out the location of Anamalai on a map, and provide students with a brief introduction to this area. Or, have them read about Anamalai on the Living Edens: Anamalai web site.
  3. Have students look at a population distribution map to see the population density of southern India. Ask them to pay particular attention to the area near Anamalai. They should also look at a political map of the region (such as a classroom wall map) and notice the cities in this area. What is the population density of this region in relation to the rest of India? To the rest of Asia? To the United States? Population density maps can be created online at ESRI World Thematic Data (http://www.esri.com/data/online/esri/wothphysic.html).
  4. Show students The Living Edens: Anamalai in its entirety, or just show some or all of the segments listed below. Before they watch, inform them that the Living Edens series intentionally omits humans from the program, as the goal is to provide a picture of a unique ecosystem in its natural state. As they watch, ask them to hypothesize the ways in which Anamalai's inhabitants might be impacted by human activities in southern India. They should write their ideas in section 1 of the handout.
4:16-9:07 Elephants grazing
How might human activities, such as farming or burning the land to prepare it for development, affect the elephants' access to food?
How might the presence of humans affect the pregnant elephant's ability to get away from the herd?

9:10-11:29 Lion-tailed macaque eating jackfruit
How might logging activities affect the lion-tailed macaque's ability to find food?

11:30-12:08 Tigers facing lean times
How might the presence of humans affect the tiger's ability to find prey?

13:14-14:35 Insects, spider, and lizard eating
How might human activities, such as logging or agriculture, affect this segment of the food chain?

16:32-16:48 Nursing elephant is anxious at the crack of a twig
How might the presence of humans affect the elephants' behavior and anxiety levels? What might these impacts mean for the elephants' social structure?

17:55-19:15 Elephants bathing
How might human activities, such as agriculture and industry, affect the quality of the water, and how would water quality impact the elephants?

19:15-20:41 Elephant-created burrows for digger wasps
How might agriculture or other human developments on this land affect the habitat and behaviors of the digger wasp?

23:18 - 24:24 Elephant footprints create new ecosystems
How might agriculture or other human developments on this land affect the ability of frogs to lay their eggs in these pools?

26:03-27:38 Animals looking for places to raise their young
How might human activities, such as logging, affect these animals' child-rearing habits? What would happen if the old hallow trees were logged?

33:12-34:22 The dry season arrives
This is a time of scarcity for plant-eaters. How might the presence of humans make this scarcity worse for the animals? Might the animals have to compete with humans for the limited resources?

37:25-37:57 Elephants go to the watering hole; the matriarch remembers where it's located
What would happen to the elephants during the dry season if humans diverted the water for agriculture or other development?

47:44-48:15 Tree frog tadpoles drop into the water
How might human activities, such as agriculture or industry, affect the ability of tadpoles to develop into frogs?
  1. Have students look at a world map (available at National Geographic's Map Machine: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/maps/index.html, or use a map hanging in the front of the classroom and select students to point out the Amazon region and the East African savannah (Kenya and Tanzania). Ask them if they've learned about either of these regions in previous studies, and tell them that like Anamalai, these regions possess abundant wildlife and face environmental threats from human activities. Explain that they're going to be comparing these areas to southern India.
  2. Ask students to look at thematic maps that show population density, human activities (i.e. transportation, energy), and physical geographical features (i.e. vegetation zones, precipitation) for India, the Amazon, East Africa, and students' home region. Have them use section 2 of the handout to compare southern India to these other areas. You can find this type of map in many atlases, or students can create their own maps at ESRI World Thematic Data (http://www.esri.com/data/online/esri/wothphysic.html). For vegetation zones, have students see the Biomes Map (http://mbgnet.mobot.org/biome/map.htm). Have students look carefully at their notes from section 2 of the handout, and ask them to think about whether Anamalai faces a level of environmental pressure that is similar to, greater than, or less than these other regions.
  3. Have students imagine that they've been asked to write articles for an environmental conservation magazine focusing on potential human impacts on the southern Indian ecosystem. The magazine's readers are very familiar with environmental issues in the United States, the Amazon, and East Africa, but they don't know as much about southern India. Have students write articles that provide a background to southern India and Anamalai, explain some of the human impacts in the region, describe the ways in which human activities might affect Anamalai's ecosystem and inhabitants, and provide a comparison between southern India and the three other areas students have investigated. This comparison should explain whether students think Anamalai faces a level of environmental pressure that is similar to, greater than, or less than these other regions. Their articles should conclude by hypothesizing what might be the most pressing human impact concerns for the southern Indian environment. After students have completed their articles, select one or two to submit to a conservation group, such as the World Wildlife Fund (http://www.worldwildlife.org) or the Wildlife Conservation Society (http://www.wcs.org). Perhaps they can get the articles published on the Internet or in a magazine! You could also submit the winning articles to the school newspaper. You might want to ask the newspaper staff to announce an article contest before students write and, once students have completed the assignment, to choose one or two winning articles to publish. This would provide students working on the newspaper with valuable practice in reviewing article submissions.
Assessment Recommendations
Since every class is different, every teacher will assess students in slightly different ways. However, areas of consideration should include the following:
  • Participating in class discussions.
  • Carefully following all directions.
  • Paying close attention while viewing the video, and completing section 1 of the handout in a manner that reflects a careful consideration of the potential human impacts.
  • Completing section 2 of the handout, indicating that they've followed directions and carefully considered what they've seen in the thematic maps.
  • Writing thoughtful articles that reflect the things they've learned in this lesson and the ideas they have about human impacts in southern India.
Extensions/Adaptations
Have students continue their research to find out about specific environmental issues and conservationist activities that are going on in southern India. Ask them to write paragraphs comparing and contrasting those issues and activities with ones they know about in the Amazon, East Africa, or their home region.

Have students find out about human-elephant interactions and the ways in which elephants behave around humans (such as in zoos, circuses, or as modes of transportation) versus in the wild. Have them discuss and/or write their ideas about how the elephants of Anamalai might alter their behaviors if humans started to move into the elephants' territory.

.Student Handout
As you watch The Living Edens: Anamalai, take notes on how you think human activities in southern India might impact Anamalai's ecosystem and animals. Think about how activities such as logging, agriculture, and industry might impact the animals' habitats, behaviors, food availability, and reproduction or child-rearing. Write your ideas.

.You'll be looking at some thematic maps, either in print or online. If your teacher asks you to create the maps on the Internet, follow these directions:
  • Label Map 1 on this worksheet Transportation.
  • Go to the ESRI World Thematic Data site at http://www.esri.com/data/online/esri/wothphysic.html.
  • Select the theme Transportation Network Density, and select the region Asia. Then click on Make the Map.
  • Look carefully at southern India on the map you've created. Note the level of transportation network density for this region. You can write this number under What numbers does the map provide for each of these places?
  • Make the transportation network density map for South America, Africa, and North America. As you make each map, note the transportation network density for the Amazon, the East Africa savannah, and your home, and record the numbers the map gives you under What numbers does the map provide for each of these places?
  • Repeat this process for the map themes Electric Power Plants, and Precipitation (maps #2 and #3 below). For electric power plants, try to estimate the number and size of TPP red dots for each region; more dots of a larger size means more and larger power plants.
  • For map #4, look at the Biome Map (http://mbgnet.mobot.org/biome/map.htm) to see which vegetation zone each of these regions is located in. You won't need to write any numbers for this map, but you'll still need to compare the regions.
  • Write words (i.e. higher, lower) comparing southern India to the other places listed.
Map 1

Title of map:

What numbers does the map provide for each of these places? (Only use this section if you're making your maps on the Web):

  Southern India

  Amazon

  East Africa

  Your home region

How do the other regions compare to southern India?

  Amazon

  East Africa

  Your home region

Map 2

Title of map:

What numbers does the map provide for each of these places? (Only use this section if you're making your maps on the Web)

  Southern India

  Amazon

  East Africa

  Your home region

How do the other regions compare to southern India?

  Amazon

  East Africa

  Your home region

Map 3

Title of map:

What numbers does the map provide for each of these places? (Only use this section if you're making your maps on the Web)

  Southern India

  Amazon

  East Africa

  Your home region

How do the other regions compare to southern India?

  Amazon

  East Africa

  Your home region

Map 4

Title of map:

How do the other regions compare to southern India?

  Amazon

  East Africa

  Your home region

Anamalai Gliders: Flying Lizards
Grade Level: 6-8

Estimated Time

Four class periods: one period to view selected Anamalai video clips, present background information on reptiles and lizards, and discuss the unique aerodynamic anatomy of flying lizards; one period to construct various types of paper airplanes; one period to field-test and record the flight capabilities of paper airplanes; and one period for discussion of final activity outcomes.

Lesson Objectives
Students will be able to:
  • Describe the physical characteristics of reptiles.
  • Define exothermic, insectivore and herbivore
  • Describe the physical characteristics of lizards in general and flying lizards in particular.
  • Define dewlap and describe its function
  • Explain the terms lift, drag, thrust, and gravity as related to flight
Correlation to National Standards
Curriculum Standards for Science

This lesson addresses the following national content standards found at http://www.mcrel.org and the following national science content standards found at http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/:
  • Develop an understanding of structure and function in living systems.
  • Develop an understanding of regulation and behavior.
  • Develop an understanding of diversity and adaptations of organisms.
  • Develop an understanding of motions and forces.
Background
What's that flying between those two tall trees? Is it a featherless bird? Or is it hairless primate? Nope. It's a flying lizard, an Anamalai glider.

A flying lizard is a member of the reptile family. Lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, and alligators are also found within the reptile family. A reptile is a vertebrate animal with a backbone that has tough, dry skin covered with horny scales. Reptiles are cold-blooded and cannot generate their own body heat; so they use their exothermic ability to absorb the sun's heat into their body. Most reptiles have teeth, breathe air with their lungs, and hatch from eggs that were laid on land.

On land or in the oceans, reptiles are found throughout most of the world. However, Antarctica and the polar oceans are quite inhospitable for cold-blooded creatures; so it is in the warm tropical and desert regions of the world where the greatest multitude and diversity of reptiles are located. For more information go to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/crocs/clickable/ Within the reptile family, lizards are the most abundant and diverse members. There are over 4,300 different species of lizards alive today. Lizard bodies are typically between four and eight inches long, slender, and end with a narrow pointed tail. Two exceptions would be the Monito gecko, which grows to only about one and a half inches long, and the Komodo dragon, which grows to almost ten feet in length. Most lizards have four legs attached to dexterous clawed toes that enable tree and rock climbing as well as grasping prey. Lizards are insectivores or insect-eating creatures for the most part, although, larger lizards may eat other vertebrates, and a few lizard species are plant-eaters or herbivores. Typically, lizards make their homes in trees or shrubs and rocky areas.

The flying lizard, Draco volan (flying dragon), is found in tropical rain forests in southern India and Southeast Asia. Typical of other lizards, a "Draco" is a small creature that grows to about eight inches in length and is an insectivore, dining mostly on ants and termites. Like several other types of lizard, Dracos have a dewlap, a brightly colored throat pouch, located under their head that is used like an inflatable signal flag during social interactions between mates and territorial rivals. However, what makes the flying lizard truly unique among other lizards is its ability to fly or rather glide from a higher perch to a lower one by simultaneously utilizing the forces of lift, drag, thrust and gravity. In aviation terms, lift is the force on the wing of bird or an aircraft that keeps it in the air as it moves forward. Drag is the force that acts against the forward movement of something that is passing through a gas or a liquid. Thrust is the force that pushes something into action. Gravity is the force that attracts an object downward to the earth.

Draco is able to glide by exploiting these forces because five to seven of its ribs are lengthened and support a flattened fold of skin or "wing" that can be extended to provide it with enough surface area for lift. So, if it needs to get somewhere in a hurry the flying lizard just spreads its "wings," pushes off from its perch, and glides through the air more than 150 feet to another tree trunk or to the ground. As it descends, Draco uses fine movements of its membrane wings and tail to precisely control its direction, speed, distance, and angle of descent. How's that for expert hang gliding!

Materials
  • 8 1/2 X 11 inch sheets of paper
  • Paper airplane diagrams (HINT: Go to http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/gliders.htm and http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/1817 to printout paper airplane patterns. Or go to your local library or hobby store to obtain books on how to construct paper airplanes.)
  • Paper clips
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
  • Colored markers, pencils, and crayons
  • Stop watches
  • Measuring tapes
  • Large enclosed open area, e.g., auditorium, gymnasium, or other suitable place
  • Composition journals
Procedure

Procedure (Day One)
  1. Group your students into teams of 4 to 6 people.
  2. Tell them to brainstorm what they know about reptiles and lizards, and to record their responses.
  3. Have a spokesperson from each team tell the class the results of their team's reptile and lizard brainstorming session.
  4. Write their responses on the board. You may want to organize their responses into categories depending upon the variety and number of responses generated.
  5. Show Anamalai lizard video clips:
  6. (1:00-1:20) - This segment highlights a lizard stalking an insect along a tree branch, then attacking and feasting on the insect.
  7. (30:00-31:00) - This segment highlights the throat pouch, dewlap, of the flying lizard as a means of communication; then highlights the flying lizard gliding from a higher to a lower tree perch.
  8. Using their brainstorming responses and the video clips as springboards, tell your students to take notes in their journals as you fill in the knowledge gaps by presenting more information on reptiles, lizards, and the unique aerodynamic anatomy of flying lizards. Or if you would like to extend this lesson for another period, have your students work in their teams to research via the Internet or library a specific aspect of reptiles or lizards such as habitat, physical characteristics, diet, etc.; and then facilitate a class discussion to present the research results and fill in any remaining knowledge gaps if needed.
  9. End presentation with an announcement about tomorrow's paper airplane activity.
Procedure (Day Two)
  1. Conclude previous day's presentation if necessary.
  2. Have students reassemble into their teams.
  3. Distribute paper airplane diagrams.
  4. Distribute 8 1/2 X 11-inch paper, paper clips, scotch tape, scissors, colored markers, pencils, and crayons.
  5. Construct various types of paper airplanes.
  6. Store each team's paper airplanes overnight (HINT: You may want to store each team's paper airplanes in a paper supermarket bag. Be sure to label each team's bag.)
Procedure (Day Three)
  1. Have students reassemble into their teams and have them collect their paper airplanes from storage.
  2. Distribute a measuring tape and a stopwatch to each team.
  3. Escort students to auditorium, gymnasium, or other large enclosed area.
  4. Instruct teams to experiment with their paper airplanes and to use the stop watch and measuring tape to record the time aloft, distance traveled, and other aspects each paper airplane's flight. (ASIDE: According to the Guinness Book of Records, the current world record for the time that a paper airplane remained aloft in flight is 27.6 seconds. Can your students beat this record?)
  5. Instruct teams to record in their journals the outcome of each paper airplane's flight as well as the possible reason or reasons for the outcome
Procedure (Day Four)
  1. Have a spokesperson from each team present their team's final activity outcomes.
  2. Record each team's final activity outcomes on the board.
  3. As a class, analyze the data on the board and determine which style or styles of paper airplane flew the longest time aloft, shortest time aloft, longest distance, shortest distance, etc.
  4. As a class, compare the designs of the airplanes that flew the longest time aloft and the longest distance to the aerodynamic anatomy of the flying lizard to determine if there are any similarities.
  5. As a class, discuss the possible reasons for the activity outcomes.
  6. Collect all student composition journals for assessment.
Extension Activities

For Younger Students


How many different types of reptiles live near you? Explore various neighborhood habitats. Discover how many different types of reptiles make their homes near your home. Create reptile education posters and displays to educate other students at your school and the community at large about your reptile findings.

For Older Students

Reptiles are mentioned within the folklore of many world cultures. Often reptiles -- especially snakes -- are portrayed as having an evil reputation, such as the snake that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Research the folklore of various countries and determine how the culture within each country views reptiles. Conduct a literary search of myths, fables, and folktales that involve lizards from as many cultures as possible to see how other cultures view reptiles. In what ways are reptiles portrayed in a positive manner? Write and illustrate, if possible, a folktale that portrays numerous species of reptiles in a positive light. To get started, click Folktales from China at http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/china.html or go to Yahoo.com or another large search engine and type in ìfolktales; lizardî for other sites.

Biomes are ecological regions, defined in terms of their plant and animal life, and are usually identified by common vegetation. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated 14 major world biomes: Tundra communities and barren arctic deserts; Temperate needle leaf forests or woodlands; Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands and sub-polar deciduous thickets; Temperate grasslands; Cold winter (continental) deserts and semi-deserts; Evergreen Sclerophyllous forests, scrub or woodlands; Tropical grasslands and savanna; Warm deserts and semi-deserts; Tropical dry or deciduous forests (including monsoon forests) or woodlands; Sub-tropical and temperate rainforests or woodlands; Tropical humid forests; Mixed mountain and highland systems with complex zonation; Mixed island systems; River and lake systems. Pick a biome then select a small geographical area within the biome and research how many different types of reptiles inhabit that area. Which biomes have diverse reptile populations? Why do some biomes have a more diverse reptile population than others? For more information on major world biomes go to http://www.psd.k12.co.us/schools/tavelli/biomes.html

Assessment Recommendations
  • Evaluate your students on their ability to work together in teams to construct, test, observe, document, and present their paper airplane flight outcomes.
  • Evaluate level of student participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the writing and content of each student's journal entries for this lesson and activity. Specifically look for evidence that they have an understanding of the lesson's objectives, and how the aerodynamic anatomy of the flying lizard compares to their team's better performing paper airplanes.
Resources

Print materials:


Cogger, Harold, and Zweifel, Richard, "Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians," Academic Press, 1998

Lean, Geoffrey, "Atlas of the Environment", Prentice Hall Press, 1990

PBS Online Sites:

Nova Online: Crocodiles, A Clickable Croc
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/crocs/clickable/

The Living Edens: Bhutan, The Last Shangri-La
http://www.pbs.org/edens/bhutan/a_reptiles.htm

Other Online Sites:

Alex's Paper Airplanes
http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/gliders.html

Animal Atlas.com
http://www.animalatlas.com/encyclo/reptiles/information/lizardclassfamilies.htm

Cape Gliding Club
http://www.cgc.org.za/library/intro.htm

Ken Blackburn's Paper Airplanes and More
http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/1817

University of Michigan
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/draco/d._volan$narrative.htm

Betsy Hedberg, is a teacher and freelance curriculum writer who has published lesson plans on a variety of subjects. Betsy received her Secondary Teaching Credential in Social Studies from Loyola Marymount University and her Master of Arts in Geography from UCLA. In addition to curriculum writing, she presents seminars and training sessions to help teachers incorporate the Internet and other technologies into their classrooms. Betsy recently presented a seminar entitled "The World Wide Web Can Help Your Students Think Critically" at the California Council for the Social Studies 1998 annual conference. In 1997, she founded Curriculum Adventures, a curriculum development, publishing, and consulting business.

Mark Moss has a Master of Science in Environmental Studies and is an environmental education consultant in Southern California developing environmental education programs, curriculum, and supplemental materials for children and adults. Career highlights for Mark have included managing a team of 15 artists to design and construct state-of-the-art exhibits for a regional water education center, developing an environmental careers internship program that pairs disadvantaged high school students with adult mentors currently working in the environmental field, and writing a water resources guide for middle school students and teachers. Mark also contributed to the development of an air pollution education curriculum that is currently available nationwide to middle schools. Recently, Mark developed a series of elementary through high school lesson plans and activities on a variety of environmental topics for several websites. Mark lives with his wife, a kindergarten teacher, and two sons, three years old and six months old. Mark enjoys kayaking, the beach and seeing the world through his sons' eyes.


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