Coyotes, Skunks, and Bears in the Sky --- A Multicultural Approach to Astronomy

Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 29 -- Education
Oral presentation, Monday, 9, 1995, 10:00am - 11:30am

[29.04] Coyotes, Skunks, and Bears in the Sky --- A Multicultural Approach to Astronomy

N. R. Lebofsky (SO/UA), L. A. Lebofsky (LPL/UA), T. Ca\~nizo (TUSD)

Staff and teacher/facilitators from the ARTIST (Astronomy-Related Teacher Inservice Training) and ACCESS! (All Children Can Explore the Solar System!) PROJECTS use myths, legends, creative writing, and related activities to augment astronomy lessons. In both elementary and middle school classrooms teachers use an integrated curriculum approach to extend the science lesson into language arts, social studies, fine arts, and math. Reading, writing, storytelling, and art projects blend easily with lessons on constellations, planets, Sun, Moon, and sky. Including myths and legends from a variety of cultures and time periods underscores the universal appeal of both skywatching and creativity.

Through a variety of inservice programs and materials development, the authors provide scientific background and classroom activities for teachers in grades K--8. Project facilitators report marked improvement in primary grade reading and writing skills and improved language acquisition for bilingual students when a high interest topic such as astronomy is introduced and integrated with language arts lessons. Facilitators have used astronomy to empower special education students to share both their knowledge and appreciation of the universe with the general school population.

A slide-and-music presentation and samples of student work will highlight activities developed through PROJECT ARTIST. PROJECT ARTIST is funded by the National Science Foundation. PROJECT ACCESS! is funded by the Arizona Board of Regents (Eisenhower Math and Science Program).

Monday program listing