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Multicultural Science Lesson Plan
Science an the Arts
Science and ESL Students
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Science in the News
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Women and Science
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Multicultural Science Lesson Plan
Multicultural Science Lesson Plan:
I have posted and linked 5 lesson plans for multicultural science.
The fallowing is a web page that focuses on secondary education so I just made the link.
Lesson Title: A Multicultural Approach to teaching a Science Lesson.
The fallowing is a lesson plan relating to native ways of understanding.. you can click on it to link to the web page.
Lessons & Units
A database of lessons and units
by content and cultural standards, cultural region and grade level. More units will be available soon. You can use Acrobat Reader to look at the PDF version of the
Cover Sheet for the Units
Self-Assessment for Cultural Standards in Practice
by Jonas Ramoth and Sidney Stephens
In the winter in Selawik, if it's clear and cold, -20° or -30°F, maybe there are a few clouds but its nice and calm. The wind isn't supposed to blow now. If the wind starts to blow when its not supposed to, people gathered maybe in the store will say –ooo, cold”. In Iñupiaq they say
which means he's beckoning the storm. You know it will be stormyãblowing, drifting snow. It makes you decide to stay home. Animals will stay home too. This is very reliable.
Jonas Ramoth, Iñupiaq Elder
After almost 3 days of talk-meeting in Kotzebue, when half the group of educators had left to catch planes or ease weary backsides, Iñupiaq Elder Jonas Ramoth got up to speak. With incredibly fresh kindness and consummate humility, he said that it is not always easy for Elders to speak to groups; "our lives are just our lives, nothing special to talk about, we just live like we do." He also said it was hard to speak up when there are others who know more, but when only he is there to speak, he tries. Jonas then referred to all of the hunting elders as biologists and spoke of their vast knowledge about the land, animals, plants and weather gained from close observation and time on the land. He also talked about "shaman stories that children love and are fantastic and fun to tell, but make you feel like a liar. We know what we know, but we can't explain it. That's where we clash with empirical knowledge."
No one spoke in response. They just sat smiling, perhaps thinking as I was that with utmost simplicity and calm, Jonas had just captured the essence of our days of discussion about merging Native knowledge and science in ways that keep each perspective whole and work for kids and communities. Without either of us realizing it, so began our collaboration.
Later that year our paths again crossed during a 2-week summer course for teachers held in Fairbanks. Jonas was the Elder member of a teaching team from Kotzebue and was there to help his team create a science/math unit based on traditional Iñupiaq knowledge. Jonas quickly became the "course" elder, generously sharing his knowledge and stories not only with his team, but also with the whole class, which luckily included me. I took notes whenever he spoke and was continuously amazed by his simple eloquence and the ease and patience with which he answered our often pointed and most characteristically
questions. This held equally true when I visited him in December of that year, to clarify my understanding of dominant weather patterns in his home village of Selawik, as a basis for developing this weather unit. (Notes from this meeting, as well as a little more information about Jonas are in Appendix A.)
At this point, I wish I could say that Jonas and I continued to work closely together to develop lessons for students based on his knowledge, but that is not what happened. Jonas is a traditional teacher who, in addition to raising his grandchildren and holding a full time job with the National Park Service, is very active on the local and regional Elders councils and spends much of his time working with children in schools and during the summer. He is not a curriculum developer and shies away from any pretense in this regard.
So, having equipped me as best he could with a literal understanding of Selawik weather patterns, Jonas allowed me to roll on with development of the following unit at my discretion. He responded to questions and read whatever I sent him for comment, but this unit is truly not a representation of the way he would teach students about the weather. Instead, it's a distillation and a reconfiguration of his knowledge as an Iñupiaq Elder and mine as a science educator. As such, it represents a first vision of what I might hope to do were I a village teacher and lucky enough to be able to work with Jonas on a regular basis. Hopefully readers will find some part of it applicable to their own situations, and hopefully too, readers will be able to smooth off rough edges and fill in gaps to better represent an approach to teaching and learning about the weather that is tailor-made for their community.
Understanding and predicting winds and weather from either traditional or western perspectives is a very complicated process, involving multiple variables, patterns and relationships, and taking years of experience and study to master. This unit attempts to set students on the road to weather competency by: (1) grounding them in the practice of locally significant weather observation; (2) exploring the physical phenomena that drive winds; and (3) connecting local investigations to global weather studies.
Section I - Observing Locally
Agreeing on Terms
Designing Local Investigations
Conducting and Analyzing Investigations
Section II - Understanding Wind
Activity Series 1
Activity Series 2
- Heat Absorption and Radiation
Activity Series 3
Activity Series 4
- Heating the Earth
Activity Series 5
- Global Winds
Section III - Connecting Globally
Community Memories II
- Selawik Weather Information from Jonas Ramoth
- Weather Resource List
- Interdisciplinary Integration
The falloing is a link to a lesson plan for teaching the seasons to ESL students
Women in Science
History of Science
Women have encountered various obstacles in the fields of science through the years. This lesson features a study of various women (past and present) and the ways in which these women have overcome the obstacles presented to them because of their sex or ethnicity.
To compare the obstacles faced by women throughout the world
To appreciate the manner in which these women have overcome various obstacles.
To communicate with a real female scientist.
history of women in science
Students gather ask-an-expert sites, propose leading questions and organize their own engaged learning activity. Use the following site as an example of this successful lesson:
Adapt your own lesson plan from our completed project:
We gathered for lunch time discussions and began the study of the topic. The students decided on the which topic to pursue.
They gathered possible questions and web sites (see site above for possible questions). From the gathered questions, the individual groups decided on a focus and developed their project.
The project lasted 5 weeks; The student decision making was the most marvelous process I've ever engaged in. The research was authentic and student directed.
Successful female scientists were very kind about responding to the girls. It was a marvelous time of students being responsible for their own learning.
The students presented their web pages in a whole group gathering and were evaluated using a student designed rubric.
Lesson Plan Source
Submitted by Sr. Maureen Fallon,
Notre Dame High School for Girls, Chicago, IL, USA
The fallowing is a lesson plan merging spanish and english language through science.
I'm sorry this won't save cleanly.
¡Vamos al jardín! Working Together in a Community Garden
What kinds of projects help children learn both English and Spanish? Try gardening together! The Granada Park Community Garden, just a block away from this two way bilingual school, creates a context of meaningful Science, Mathematics, Spanish and English for a class of first graders. Children learn about the natural world through their close observation of weather patterns and growth patterns in seeds they germinate and in animals they find. Children record their observations in bilingual science journals and learn how to illustrate them using Kid Pix. As work progresses, children learn Spanish and English, a main goal of the school, in a context embedded situation. Finally, through a dialogue with older students, neighbors, and families, children experience how cooperative work builds a stronger community.
Write & send invitations to community garden partners.
& other garden stories.
Start & tend indoor compost.
Observe pumpkin's decomposition process.
Taste vegetables & herbs & select favorites.
Germinate seeds & use
to record growth process in science journals.
Make nature prints from leaves & flowers.
Analyze digital photos of student & neighbor gardeners.
Prepare observations to share.
Introduce gardening partners: older students, families & neighbors at garden launching.
Share wishes & place on tree.
Participate in seasonal garden clean-ups.
Ask school community to contribute to compost.
Prepare garden soil with indoor compost & community gardeners' outdoor compost.
Discuss garden progress with older students & learn about their greenhouse experiments.
Publish children's observations in
school bilingual newspaper
, 4.28 MB)
Organize community garden barbecue with partners.
computer slide show
, 394 KB)
at barbecue & school wide events.
Invite community leaders to tell history of Granada Park Community Garden - from empty lot to community garden.
Invite Director of Education of Massachusetts Environmental Affairs Office to talk with children about recycling & composting.
Invite community gardener to talk about how weather affects plant growth.
Invite nutritionist from UMass Cooperative Extension Program to talk about good nutrition.
Listen to community gardeners share tips about growing vegetables & herbs.
earning Standards English Language Art
Listen carefully & engage in discussion.
Use effective oral language.
Read & participate in reading with others.
Read content area materials.
Understand & express points of view.
earning Standards Math
Use process of measuring & understand concepts related to units of measure.
Collect, organize & describe data.
Formulate and solve problems that involve collecting & analyzing data.
earning Standards Science
Understand role of observation & experimentation in the scientific process & the development of scientific theories.
Connect study of science & technology to career opportunities.
Gather scientific information through observation & experimentation in laboratory & field. through questioning & interviewing, library work & other information-gathering activities.
Communicate results obtained by observation, experimentation, questioning, interviewing & library work through models, illustrations, narratives & oral presentations.
School to Career Competencies
Develop Communication & Literacy Skills.
Organize & Analyze Information.
Complete Entire Activities.
Develop Team Skills.
Teacher and administrator observe and record level of interaction, dialogue, and written and spoken comprehension. Teacher and students meet in response groups to evaluate increasing levels of detail in journals, recorded observations in group charts, and student made bilingual books. Parental participation during seasonal clean-ups indicates successful family inclusion in garden community. Before and After Wish Tree Reflections also gauge project's success.
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