Teacher's Guide for ODYSSEYTM ODYSSEY's Night Feeders
Sensing the Night - Page 6
Juana and her brother, Romero, visit a pond after dark to
observe the adaptations of crepuscular and nocturnal animals. A Sidebar - Page 11 - Explains how human explorers find their way in the dark.
Classification, Drawing inferences.
A (Snap)Shot in the Dark - Page 12
Build a "camera-trap" to photograph night visitors to your back yard. Send your best pictures to ODYSSEYTM.
Following directions, Problem-solving.
Pollinators: Working the Night Shift - Page 14
Bees of Costa Rica, white-lined sphinx moths, long-nosed
bats, and gecko lizards are among the world's most intriguing nocturnal pollinators. Build a Condo - Page 19 - to attract twig-nesting bees to house or garden.
Vocabulary, Cause and effect.
Days of Our Lives - Page 20
"Clock genes" control circadian rhythms - the regular schedule of activity and rest that operates in living things from marigolds to human beings. A sidebar - Page 22 - describes how too little light - or too much - can affect people.
Vocabulary, Deductive reasoning.
Batty About Bats - Page 24
"Batty scientists" study where these flying mammals hang out, how they communicate, and why they are vital to the balance of so many diverse ecosystems. A sidebar - Page 28 - separates the fiction of vampire bats from the fact.
Cause and effect, Impact assessment.
Activity to Discover: Here's Your Personal Bat Mobile! - Page 29
Make a mobile of soaring and sleeping paper bats.
Following directions, Design and Construction.
Coral Reefs: The Changing of the Guard - Page 32
Coral reefs are more than beautiful. Observing their
changing character from day to night reveals how essential reefs are to the survival of many marine species.
Mental modeling, Inductive reasoning.
What's Up: The Month of the Blue Moon! Page 36
The March sky displays a parade of four planets, two full
Moons, and the vernal equinox. Send reports of your viewing experiences to ODYSSEYTM.
Observation, Record keeping.
Creature From the Black Lagoon - Page 42
Well-equipped for survival, the American alligator is vital
to the Everglades ecosystem. If you met this living dinosaur in the flesh, would you know it from a crocodile? The sidebar (Page 45) will help with introductions.
Deductive reasoning, Comparing and contrasting.
(Discussion Starters for Use Before Reading the Magazine)
- Through discussion, compile a class list of the jobs
some people do at night while others sleep. How do night workers adapt to their hours? How are their jobs essential to the daytime activities of others? Make a similar list of the nighttime activities of other animals. What characteristics (adaptions) allow animals to hunt or feed at night? How are their activities essential to the health of their environments? (Add to this list during and after reading the issue.)
- List the ways in which bees affect people. Why do we
judge some "good" and others "bad"? Revise and expand the list after reading "Pollinators" (Page 14)
Talk, Connect, Assess
Page 6 "Sensing the Night"
TALK IT OVER:
Page 32 - "Coral Reefs: The Changing of the Guard"
Connections for the Student:
- Adaptive characteristics help animals survive in their
environments. Using examples from the article, make a list of the adaptations and survival strategies of various nocturnal and crepuscular animals.
- What adaptations allow birds, bats, and other migratory animals to travel between their summer and winter homes? How do their senses compare with those of humans?
- Creative Writing - Working alone or with a partner, write a children's story about one of the night creatures mentioned in the article. Write your story for an adult to read to preschool children or for primary-grade students to read on their own. Consider writing your story
from an animal's point of view.
- Art / Design - Collect photographs or draw pictures of nocturnal and crepuscular animals. Use them on a poster depicting the sensory mechanisms that night feeders use to survive in the dark.
- Science - Work in groups of three. Blindfold one group member. Ask a second to lead the blindfolded student around the school and grounds. Ask the third team member to record what the blindfolded student says about sensory impressions, locations, and directions. Back in the classroom, discuss how well the blindfolded students knew the environment when deprived of vision.
- Organize a list of the animals mentioned in the article into two categories: crepuscular and nocturnal. In a brief essay, describe how one from each category is adapted to its life in the darkness.
- Prepare a persuasive speech on the following topic:
"Nighttime animals are superior to humans." (Make sure to define "superior.")
TALK IT OVER:
Far Out!: Moving Beyond the Magazine
Connections for the Student:
- Would you want to visit a coral reef at night? Why and
- What dangers threaten coral reefs? Which are natural and which are human-made? Visit the Web sites suggested in the article and find other sources of information on perils to the world's coral reefs.
- Visual Arts - Organize pictures and written information into an attractive brochure promoting
protection of Honolua Bay's coral reef.
- Geology - Construct a series of posters explaining how a coral reef forms over thousands of years. On the last poster, show how people and pollution can damage or destroy the reef in a short time.
- Language Arts - Write a short story about a coral reef. Make sure your facts are accurate, even if your characters and plot are fictional. Try to capture some of the mystery and beauty of this ecosystem in your prose.
- Pretend that Congress is considering national park
status for a newly discovered coral reef off the coast of Hawaii. Using your knowledge of coral reefs, write and deliver a speech requesting Congress to appropriate money for the reef's preservation as a wilderness area.
- This article compares changes in the coral reef to day
and night workers in a city. In an essay, continue this comparison. You may wish to elaborate on certain periods of time, specific jobs and lifestyles, or the characteristics of ocean and urban environments.
"Some guys would like to grow up muscular."
Whole-Class, Community Connection - Contact a
representative from a local park or preserve. Ask if the area could use any bat houses or bee condos. If the response is positive, design and construct the number and type requested. Work with appropriate officials to install and monitor the facilities.
"But me? I'd rather be crepuscular."
Small-Group, Collaborative Activity - Review the star chart on page 36. Use the same star patterns, but reorganize the groups into your own imaginary constellations. Write brief descriptions of people or animals you see in the stars and connect them in your own narrative mythology.
"'Why?' you ask. Well, here's the headline . . ."
Whole-Class, Inter-School Project - Write a play about night feeders. Perform it for an elementary-school audience. At the end of the performance, read aloud Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Provide materials and help the children construct bat mobiles, following the directions on page 29 of this issue.
" . . . If I'm nocturnal, I have no bedtime!"
Large-Group Research Project - Divide the class into four groups, with assignments as follows:
- locate and label major coral reefs on a wall map of the world
- survey peers and adults to find out who have visited a coral reef and what their reactions were
- make a bulletin-board display on environmental threats to coral reefs
- write and record a radio show about model efforts to save reef ecosystems.