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Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM


REYNOLDS, Jeannette L., Science Education, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, HASIOTIS, Stephen T., Department of Geology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045 and HIRMAS, Daniel R., Geography, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045-7575,

Teaching methods were developed to integrate into the K-12 classroom setting new research and technologies to produce three-dimensional (3D) models designed to study animal traces, trace fossils, and soil structures. Lessons in science, math, social studies, geography, and english were created from various properties of plastic models of animal burrows to emphasize the standards of learning in each subject and relate content to actual field research and results. Integrating animal burrow and trace models into the curriculum is intended to spark creativity in all ages of students in all areas of core curriculum. Elementary level lessons cross content boundaries, blending science with english or social studies to create universal interest, emphasizing a wide range of student strengths, including hands-on, written expression, and visual learning. Secondary level lessons focus on a particular subject, ranging from math to complex, research-based Earth Science-related projects (paleontology, biology, ecology). Much potential exists across all grade levels for using models as learning tools for students with special needs, particularly those who have difficulty with spatial relations. Animal burrow models provide an accurate portrayal of negative space that is unobservable. Models could help students with visual impairments learn about an aspect of nature previously unknown to them. All lessons for all age groups are designed around a teaching kit composed of 3D models of burrows, coprolites, and cocoons, with corresponding scales to the original cast. Models are durable and lightweight, making them more useful in the classroom than the original plaster or fiberglass models or the trace fossil specimens. Future research with student-teacher contact will determine the effectiveness of these lesson plans in the general education classroom, which is postulated to provide valuable learning experiences for a wide variety of students.
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