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1 October 2014 Using Ants, Animal Behavior & the Learning Cycle to Investigate Scientific Processes
Russell A. Ligon, Adam G. Dolezal, Michael R. Hicks, Michael W. Butler, Nathan I. Morehouse, Tirupalavanam G. Ganesh
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Abstract

The behavior of animals is an intrinsically fascinating topic for students from a wide array of backgrounds. We describe a learning experience using animal behavior that we created for middle school students as part of a graduate-student outreach program, Graduate Partners in Science Education, at Arizona State University in collaboration with a K—8 public school. This activity capitalizes on the interest that animal behavior can generate to introduce and reinforce student understanding of the scientific method. Specifically, our activity highlights the general utility of the scientific method and uses this method to examine ant social behavior, with emphasis on generating and testing hypotheses. Furthermore, this activity introduces the idea of animal societies and encourages students to apply the concepts they learn to other species, including humans. By collecting ants locally, from schoolyards or nearby habitats, this experience situates learning in the context of students' own communities. We also provide optional assessment materials that teachers can use to assess learning objectives and standard mastery.

©2014 by National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Russell A. Ligon, Adam G. Dolezal, Michael R. Hicks, Michael W. Butler, Nathan I. Morehouse, and Tirupalavanam G. Ganesh "Using Ants, Animal Behavior & the Learning Cycle to Investigate Scientific Processes," The American Biology Teacher 76(8), 525-534, (1 October 2014). https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2014.76.8.6
Published: 1 October 2014
JOURNAL ARTICLE
10 PAGES

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KEYWORDS
Data collection
Ethology
HYPOTHESIS
NGSS; middle school
scientific method
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