Shark Bytes

This blog is an area for project participants to collaborate, share ideas, ask questions, etc.

Monday, September 18, 2006

This is Dr. Eugenie Clark.
I had the opportunity to hear her speak at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan sixteen years ago and I still remember what a wonderful experience it was.
I saw her a few weeks before I went on a dive trip to Cocos Island.
I was nervous about this trip since we were going to be diving with schools of hammerhead sharks. I knew that the movie Jaws gave sharks a bad reputation, but had a difficult time relaxing my mind. Dr. Clark assured me that I'd be fine and reminded me how fortunate I was to be able to spend a week diving in such a pristine place as Cocos Island. Dr. Clark was right!
There's an excellent chapter biography for your students that I highly recommend.
Shark Lady: True Adventures of Eugenie Clark (Paperback) by Ann Mcgovern, Ruth Chew (Illustrator)

Here's a question for discussion.
I'm thrilled that you joined Shark Bytes, but it's time for true confessions. Are you afraid of sharks? If so, how can you teach this topic objectively without letting your students know your true feelings?


At 3:22 PM, Blogger dandrews said...

I am afraid of sharks, but I let the students know this after they posted if they were afraid of sharks on our class chart.

However, I objectively taught about sharks by using the material provided and links. Within groups we discussed the behavior traits of sharks and understood why they might attack a person, and what would happen if sharks disappeared.

The students were actively engaged, and the picked favorite sharks and drew pictures of their choice. Their favorite shark was drawn after they learned as much as possible about their choice.

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Thank you for your honesty. Why do you think you're afraid of sharks?
The media did it to me and that is so unfair when you consider the relative risk of shark attacks to humans.

The Relative Risk of Shark Attacks

At 6:20 PM, Blogger dandrews said...

I, too, became aprehensive to swim in the ocean from all of the coverage of shark attacks. When watching the news about people attacked and losing limbs or even dying, I automatically pictured one of my children or other family members becoming victims of such attacks.
During this past summer, several sharks were sighted while we we were on vacation. I believe the sharks dwindling habitiat is also a contibuting factor of these creatures swimming inward toward US.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Fangman said...

I am TERRIFIED of sharks! Fascinated yes, but terrified. So much so that I can't go on the ocean in any vessel... because ships sink and sharks eat people.

I am very excited to bring sharks to my first graders, though. Even the most jaded of them melts at the site of a shark book!

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Susan said...

In response to Marilyn Fangman:
As you know first hand, fear can be quite limiting. I am uncomfortable in airplanes and it's probably because I'm not in control. Yet, I realize that many more people die in car accidents and I drive several times a day. If I let my fear of flying take over, I never would have experienced diving in beautiful coral reefs, walking in the rainforest, climbing mountains, visiting friends around the world, etc. I'm on this planet for such a short time that I don't want to miss wonderful things because of fear. It's not easy and I always have to work at it.
This still brings me to my original question. How can you teach about sharks objectively so that your students don't internalize your fear?

At 2:21 PM, Blogger StephanieBonserio said...

I guess I would have to say that I am afraid of sharks, but I try not to think about too much when I go swimming.

After doing this activity with my class I learned a lot about sharks and see how important they are to our society.


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