Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises and Hares in the Kenyan Highlands

This is my first trip to Kenya, and to Africa more generally. So far, it has been a fascinating blend of rural and urban, English and Swahili (and with it a reminder that learning a language isn’t a one-month project), and wildlife, plants, and landscapes utterly unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

I’ve come to the Kenyan Highlands in exactly the right season. It’s the rainy season, and out of ten days so far, yesterday was the only day without rain. This consistent rainfall makes all the difference for my chances of seeing tortoises. They tend to only be visible this time of year. Continue reading Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises and Hares in the Kenyan Highlands

April 2016 newsletter: “Drawing enhances memory” + summer reading ideas

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Click image to view full newsletter.

April Table of Contents

  • Sketching Tip: Plan ahead
  • Artful Science: Research article-drawing improves memory
  • Artful Classrooms: Tips for facilitating sketching in the classroom
  • Sketchbook Snapshot: Prepping for East Africa
  • News & Events:
    – Order fulfillment suspended April 29-May 31
    – Co-teaching at two educator professional development institutes
    – Writing projects online + summer workshops

Mini-workshop: Using Analog Technology (Art!) to Teach Science

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I’ll be teaching a mini-workshop/crash course/ intro session on Wednesday at the University of Wyoming. We don’t have enough time to get too deep into skill-building (only 1.5 hours), so this session aims to get you excited about the idea of building skills (or resurrecting latent skills).

Teaching with Technology Series: Drawn to Science-Using Analog Technology (Art!) to Teach Science:

3/30/2016 ● 12:00-1:30 pm ● Coe Library 506 ● lunch provided for registered participants

Register here.

Hosted by: Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Wyoming

Continue reading Mini-workshop: Using Analog Technology (Art!) to Teach Science

Project Snapshot: Ecological Principles & Children’s Books

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While working on my project on ecological concepts in picture books, I’ve come across some fascinating research about using picture books to teach science.

Here are a couple points that are particularly interesting:

  • Talking animals can confuse children’s understanding of why/how animals do things. (Ganea et al 2014)
  • Children don’t differentiate between fact and fiction unless guided to do so. Books presented by adults are viewed as equally authoritative, and fantasy books can lead to children developing faulty explanations for themselves. (Owens 2003; behind a paywall – contact author for reprint)

 

 

Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises & Hares

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Sketching Antelope Jackrabbits and Black-tailed Jackrabbits – yes jackrabbits = hares – at the U of A Natural History Museum. (c) BGMerkle, 2016
As part of my MFA thesis, I’m working on an art-science project about tortoises and hares and the ecosystems where the two coexist: “The Ecologically True Story of the Tortoise and the Hare.” One of those places just happens to be the Sonoran Desert, just south of where my husband grew up. So, while we were in Arizona over the holidays, I headed to that tortoise-and-hare desert.

Continue reading Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises & Hares