Welcome to #inatsci, Week 3 of Remix, Remake, Curate. For the first two weeks of the MOOC, we’ve been exploring the natural world and our place in it, by bioblitzing our way into citizen science, visualizing the human soundscape of our own voices, and writing poetry about our experiences. This week we’re going to be exploring how art and natural science connect by collecting our own memories about nature and using them as inspiration for our own poems.
Make Cycle 3: Collecting Nature, Science, and Memory
Scientific progress and the success of future research depends on scientific collections, in which specimen samples are stored for the purpose of research and knowledge. These collections include artifacts, natural history samples (rocks, plants, animals), living collections, and recently have begun to include DNA extraction. In each of our minds we have a similar collection of stored images, sounds, smells, tastes, and even feelings of nature. Some of these come from nature walks, our own homes and yards, television, the internet, or even our dreams. Explore the resources listed here as you ask yourself this essential question: What is my nature story?
As you begin to find the answer to that question, explore the options below as a way to help tell your story. We also hope you take it to the next level by remixing it with poetry (see the video shared below) as well as anything else you create and share it on our Google + Community page. We hope you’ll also consider joining our Google Hangout with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to interact with other participants and learn about the museum’s collection on Tuesday, February 17 from 10:00-10:40 or from 2:10-2:50 and help us write a crowdsourced poem during our Twitter chat session beginning on Wednesday morning at 8:45-9:00 (and continuing throughout the day at #inatsci ).
We can’t wait to hear your story! Use the tools and information below to get you started.
Make With Me: Collecting Stories
We suggest the following activities to guide your exploration of collecting.
- Listen to Ann Smith and Karen Linehan’s shared nature memories, documented through StoryCorps.
- Collect your own nature memories. To collect your memories, try one or more of these options, or create your own:
- Go on a nature walk (for real or in your imagination)
- Take a picture of your nature story
- Draw or paint a picture of your nature story
- Create a collage or assemblage of your nature story using pictures from the internet, drawings or items you collect from your environment
- Use the SoundSee app, created by NC Museum of Natural Sciences Visual World Investigate Lab Co-ordinator Walt Gurley, to record your story.
- Write about your nature memory.
- Use one of these digital tools to record your nature memory:
Explore Museum Resources
- Check out this video of the Naturalist Lab at the NC Natural Science Museum, a hands-on lab space dedicated to exploring some of the thousands of specimens in the museum’s collection.
- Use the Natural Science Museum’s Online Collections Database to explore the museum’s collection and find out more about the taxonomy and expand your knowledge about the facts behind your nature story. It’s searchable by taxonomy and location, and you can even map your search results.
- Explore this PowerPoint created to help you understand the role of museum collections.
Explore Additional Resources
- For additional information on some of the animals you may want to research for this activity visit National Geographic or National Geographic Kids
- For words of advice on keeping a nature journal, visit the Smithsonian in your classroom.
- Check out this TED ED video/lesson on Natural History Museums
- View this crash course video on taxonomy for older students (approximately grades 6 and up).
Check out the video below, in which The Poetry Project’s Josephus Thompson III walks us through the process of turning our nature memories into poems.
You can also join us for our Twitter chat, Wednesday starting at 8:45, as we write a poem together using the hashtag #inatsci . We’ll post a Storify of the poem to the Remix, Remake, Curate Google+ Community that evening.
Materials and Inspiration
- Computer with internet connectivity
- Drawing materials
- Writing materials – paper, pen, etc.
Places to Share
Just a reminder, here are the handy links to places we’ve been using to share and connect.
- Join our Google+ Community, Remix, Remake, Curate. Post your thoughts, questions, ideas, and especially your students’ work here. Record student poetry, share their observations, and let them see what other kids are doing.
- Join our Google Hangout on Tuesday, February 17 from 10:00 to 10:40 or from 2:10 to 2:50. We’ll talk with Steven Turner of the Naturalist Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, who will share some of the specimens in the museum’s collection.
- On Twitter, we encourage you to follow and use the #inatsci and #imakesci hashtags. Share resources throughout the week, and write a poem with us on Wednesday, February 18 starting at 8:45am.
- If you have a blog, you can make and create in your own digital space and share to the community on Twitter with the #imakesci hashtag or the G+ community Remix, Remake, Curate.
For More Info
- Read our Remix, Remake, Curate About page.
- Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.
- Learn more about the Tar River Writing Project, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Sacrificial Poets, and The Poetry Project.
- Explore the National Writing Project’s Digital Is site for ways to connect digital media with writing and learning.
- Reach out to us with questions or suggestions in the G+ Community.
When you decide to conclude your investigation with us, we hope that you have a clearer picture of how museums help us to collect the stories of the natural world. We also hope you begin to see yourself as a scientist helping collect those stories in your everyday life. After all, we can all contribute to science just by observing and documenting the natural world we all share.