Using Sensory Data to Map Enviromental Experiences
In this field investigation activity students work in small teams to gather data and use different methods to record their impressions based on their sensory input. Students collaborate on method of collection, although video, audio, drawing, and GPS activities are all acceptable. Then students complete an individual rhetorical analysis and group synthesis statement based on their work. Finally, students will create a capstone project based upon their initial observations.
Students learn group collaboration skills, critical analysis, and synthesis of ideas drawn from a number of different disciplines. Students develop writing skills, observational analysis, and collaborative cooperation. Because students go out of the classroom and are asked to engage more consciously and critically with sensory modes that may go unnoticed much of the time, they will be better able to understand the impact of "sensory extinction" in toxic waste zones and will better understand "environmental impact" statements.
Context for Use
This is designed for a class of 30 enrolled in a public university, but could be adapted for larger courses. The field activity is completed during one to two class periods. Students can use hand-held recording devices, pen and paper, or other means contingent with the situation. The field activity takes place early in the semester, but is built into the capstone project. It assumes that there may be differently-abled individuals within the course.
Description and Teaching Materials
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources