Academic journal article The American Biology Teacher

Using ABT Cover Images & Captions as Teachable Moments

Academic journal article The American Biology Teacher

Using ABT Cover Images & Captions as Teachable Moments

Article excerpt

If you are not using the ABT cover images and their captions, here are a few ideas on how to implement these captivating, teachable moments. Although initially teacher-directed, they can easily turn into some nice inquiry by your students and usually take just a few minutes. We can use as examples the image and caption on this issue and also reflect on what could be done with the chromosome scan on the April 2012 issue.

First, show the May cover to your class, perhaps standing in the middle of the room and aiming it around slowly so that students get a chance to study the image. If you will be in a large lecture room, take a digital image of the cover and display it with a projector. Ask, "What do you see?" The obvious answer will be a turtle, and you can follow with "What do you think is the habitat of this turtle?" Have volunteer students slowly read two or three sentences of the caption.

Some appropriate questions from you are (1) "What does sexually dimorphic mean?"; (2) "If this is a male, what could the female look like?"; (3) "What is the environmental issue for turtles in general?"; (4) "How can the issue be addressed?"; and (5) "What research questions could be asked about the Texas map turtle?" Always leave a minute or two for additional comments by your students. …

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