Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Total Package Tuesdays

Today I'm introducing Total Package Tuesdays posts.  I wanted to have some of my posts reflect the need for more holistic lessons, like those that the Common Core Standards require.  Based off of the format I learned in a recent PD class, I will be presenting a topic with possible resources for rigorous reading, engineering, and math activities that can be tied together to create brief or more lengthy learning objectives.

This week's topic is biomimicry.  As I begin to plan for teaching adaptations, natural selection, and evolution, I've been researching how scientists are more and more often looking at animals as a solution to human problems.

Engineering/Math Problem Solving Component
Tryengineering.com has a complete lesson that provides students the opportunity to not only to read about the topic, but to work together to design a structure for the moon using biomimicry.  And this link at Engineering, Go For It,  provides a different lesson, activity and web source.   An additional resource is also available at Teach Engineering.  The format isn't quite as teacher friendly, but is extensive, providing assessment ideas and differentiation.

Reading Component
Making biomimicry relate to kids is as simple as taking a look at a peer that has already used the idea to create a new product.  In this article, a 13 year old student creates a solar tree that is patterned after the fibonacci sequence (ahem...math and reading in one article.)  How about looking at military fatigues?  The current pixilated pattern (hmmm...math?) isn't cutting it.  Use this article, or others like it, as a springboard for a study on camoflague.

Click for 9 examples of biomimicry in action

Other current events articles include: Science News for Kids articleBiomimetics -National Geographic article, Bioinspiration at the San Diego Zoo, and Biomimicry News

Additional Resources and Background Information
Biomimicry Institute curriculum


Life in Middle School said...

Hey Jena -

This is a cool idea... I like how you're tying everything together!

Life in Middle School

Caught in the Middle said...

Thanks Lauren! Tomorrow's topic is bridges. :)

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