Green Eggs & Sand - Educational Design
"Green Eggs and Sand" is composed of 4 educational modules which systematically guide students through an understanding of the horseshoe crab, its connection to a larger ecosystem (through shorebirds), its use by man, and finally, human attempts to manage this resource, given limited science and multiple stakeholders.
Yet while "Green Eggs and Sand" offers multiple and complex learning opportunities, it has been designed by teachers to be flexible and adaptable for use at various grade levels in both the classroom and the field. Hence, the 4 educational modules can be taught as sequential learning blocks, but also independently of one another. For example, if you are teaching lower grades and interested primarily in science and math, Modules 1 and 2 can engage children with their focus on anatomy, ecology, and hands-on activities.
At the same time, those interested in higher grade level exploration of the issues and impacts on the human use and management side of this topic, may wish to focus their studies on the material provided in modules 3 and 4.
As such, module 3 introduces man's relationship to this natural phenomenon while also introducing social science activities such as history, economics, and statistics. It makes clear mankind's increasing dependence on an animal that the larger ecosystem depends upon.
Finally, Module 4 addresses how increasing human use of a resource is managed - or when limited science meets the politics of management. This module is noteworthy because it uses the horseshoe crab harvesting controversy, the limited data, and the insights of actual stakeholders, scientists, and managers as material for the lessons. Ultimately, students are asked to examine their own values and beliefs regarding this resource by developing and justifying their own management plan.
Video segments are used to introduce all 4 modules as well as to supplement specific lessons where appropriate. In the earlier modules, these clips provide background, context, and a "feel" for what it's like to be out on the beaches experiencing the birds and the crabs. In Module 4, video segments are used throughout as part of the lessons. These clips are primarily interviews with scientists, stakeholders, and managers and should be reviewed before presenting them to a class.
And since there is still much more to understand about this phenomenon, educators are encouraged to adapt these exercises or develop their own as new scientific data is published. With this background in mind, we wish you well in using these materials, and encourage you to get your students out on the beach to witness the spectacle.
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- Stacy Epperson
Aquatic Resource Education Dept
MD Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-2
Annapolis, MD 21401