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Posted by Audrey Barnhart on December 06, 2001 at 00:38:51:
In Reply to: Ideas if *you* are the teacher =) posted by Rebecca on August 20, 2001 at 06:59:25:
Good tips from everyone! Some teaching tips from "Snake Ranger", that I've found useful when using my captive breds or temporarily captive wild-caughts in classroom programs: 1. prep by explaining the senses to give children a 'sense' for what the snake's world is like--blindfold them & test to see who can id a pc of fruit at farthest distance; hit a tuning fork & place on their jaw; make a pr. of waxed paper-lens sunglasses to limit vision... Make a locomotion board: long plywood w/ narrow guides for concertina and glued sand section for serpentine & rectilinear. Let them count the pre-vent ventral scales to figure # of ribs; compare # of human vertebrae (33-34) w/ your spp. snake. Good prep story: "The Snake Who Was Afraid of People", by Barry Louis Polisar, Rainbow Morning Music, MD 1993. Good activity idea book: "Hands on Nature, Introducing Reptiles", Pamela J. Hickman, Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Pembroke Publishers, Markham, Ontario 1993
Keep up the good work!
: Excellent advice, Tom! And Matthew, if you are the actual teacher I have some ideas to share that would introduce your students to the concept of responsibility, caring for animals, and of giving them the respect they are due. If you would like these tips post here and I'll list them or email me private and I'd be glad to share! (I teach young students with behavior/emotional disorders who often have tendencies toward being cruel to animals... have done many lessons around eliminating this behavior!)
: : Ocasionally the major herp magazines do article on education and I usually try to file them but unfortunately I can't find them at all right now to tell you what back issues to look up, sorry.
: : As far as links go the first one that comes to mind is the CDC website concerning reptile associated salmonellosis. Any time you take herps out in public you will get questions and have to be responsible for those coming in contact with your animals. This will help establish that there are risks involved but proper procedures makes reptiles very safe. Our policy is that no one under 5 yrs of age touches a reptile unless they are with their parents and we explain that they need to wash hands and keep hands out of mouth, ect. This may seem a little strict or ridiculous but keep in mind that if just one child gets sick it will get a lot of publicity and do more damage than good for the reptiles you are trying to help(to say nothing of potential lawsuits).
: : From your post I assume that you are trying to get into the schools and not a teacher. Keep in mind that instructional time is very valuable to a teacher. They have a lot to teach and not much time. Some teachers get very excited and know the value of having live animals in the classroom but some are not nearly as excited, especially about snakes.
: : One thing I would suggest is to look into a local herp club or association. This can do a couple things for you. First, as you try to get into schools it gives you some credibility, your not just some guy with a snake. Also these organizations already probably get calls from teachers looking for resources and they mind be willing to refer you if you have time. Most importantly for you might be the opportunity to tag along with somebody from the group that is already doing presentations. You would probably learn a lot by watching somebody else in action.
: : In my opinion a personal encounter with a live animal is one of the best teaching tools available to educators and you will find that there are many teachers that agree.
: : Sorry I wasn't more help but if I find some specific articles or books I will post them later.