students to describe how the non-human great apes—which include
chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans—are usually portrayed on
TV or in movies. Do they think that the media portray the great apes
realistically? Why or why not? Have students provide a list of things they
think apes can learn, what kinds of things apes can teach each other, and ways
that apes cooperate. Ask students to give examples to support their answers.
As students watch, assign groups to
collect information using the viewing guide provided in the activity called
"Ape Genius?". See the activity procedure
section for instructions.
students have watched the program, have them revisit their lists about what
they thought apes could do. How many of their preconceptions were correct? What
did they learn about what apes can teach and learn, and how they cooperate?
What facts about ape intelligence were most surprising to students? Why?
that they have been awarded a grant to contribute a study to this line of
research with apes. Organize students into groups and have each group consider additional experiments they could design to
assess intelligence in apes. Help
students to formulate ideas by asking them what signs of intelligence they
would look for. Have each group create a protocol for its study that
includes details about which apes would be studied, under what conditions, for
how long, and in what environment.