Natural History Programmes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHASE

 

Theme/Topic & Terms specified

Description

Foundation Phase (R-3)

 

Animals and where they live.

Learners are introduced to different animals which live in a variety of environments. The adaptations which animals have made to adapt to different environments are discussed. The concept of extinction is introduced, and a couple of extinct animals are introduced and their life history discussed.  The role played by man in their extinction is discussed. Learners are taught to look at the characteristics of animals to see how they live. E.g. webbed feet are found on animals that live in, or close, to water. A hands-on art activity follows on the lesson (Thalassa Matthews).

 

Fossils, Karoo Therapsids, Dinosaurs, enormous Crocodiles and gigantic Sharks.

What are fossils? Shake hands with an ancient Karoo therapsid (mammal – like reptile) and learn to walk like a Dinocephalian. Investigate the death of an Oudenodon (crime scene). How many children can sit on the body of an enormous fossil crocodile? Compare your height to that of a dinosaur! See how a group of dinosaurs evolved into birds. What killed the dinosaurs? How many children can fit into the jaws of a gigantic fossil shark?

Kids fossil workshop

‘Hands on’ fossil workshop and lesson looking at geological time and selected fossils and fossil casts to represent key events in the history of life on earth. Optional activity:  Make your own fossil cast using clay and plaster of Paris.

Reptiles, Mammals (including whales) and Bird Galleries. A comparative study.

Compare the skeletons of these animals to humans. Adaptations to the environment. Characteristics of each group. Reproductive strategies. Listen to the sounds of whales (animal communication). Galleries enhanced by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions (December – March) and the Seabird Festival (October).

Sea Life & Shark World. Identification, diversity and conservation.

A closer look at sea life and sharks, specifically diversity, identification and classification. Videos available to enhance this exhibit. You should think about linking with Save our Seas or the AfriOcean Alliance as they specialize in shark conservation and education.

Discovery Room and Insects.

The Discovery Room is a ‘touch room’ where children are encouraged to investigate a wide range of exhibits ranging from fossils, mounted birds, articulated skeletons, preserved snakes in bottles to San cultural implements and a large display of insects. Find the fly that caused the deaths of the cattle and people in the movie “Jock of the Bushveld’. Discuss why insects are important to us: major pollinators; food providers (e.g. honey production and as a food resource themselves – mopane worms, locusts, termites etc); pests of crops; medical importance such as vectors of disease transmission (e.g.malaria). Insects as a major component of all terrestrial ecosystems in terms of both their diversity and abundance. Specific lessons can be designed on request such as a practical look at how the teeth of animals are adapted to their diets.

Intermediate Phase (4-6)

 

Fossils, Karoo Therapsids, Dinosaurs, enormous Crocodiles and gigantic Sharks.

 

 

 

What are fossils? How do they form (fossilization in sedimentary rock strata and geological time)? Shake hands with an ancient Karoo therapsid (mammal-like reptile) and learn to walk like a Dinocephalian. Investigate the death of an Oudenodon (Crime scene). Find out about ancient food chains, habitat and climate change, survival and mass extinctions. Climb into an enormous fossil crocodile. Compare your height to that of a dinosaur. Why did dinosaurs get so big and where did they come from? Investigate a dinosaur’s nest (reproduction). How did a group of dinosaurs evolve into birds? Why did most dinosaurs go extinct (unable to adapt to cooler climates (ectothermic) and the effects of the meteorite/ asteroid impact). How many children can fit into the jaws of a gigantic fossil shark? What is an apex predator? Why do we not find such enormous apex predators today?

 

Archaeology, and the study of the past

This lesson introduces learners to what archaeologists and palaeontologists do, and how, and why they study the past. Concepts such as evolution, and adaptation, are explained. The fossils found at the West Coast Fossil Park are used to illustrate how fossils can tell us about past environments, and climate change. The tools and analytical processes used by archaeologists and palaeontologists are discussed, and the process of fossilisation explained.

Possible activities: Learners do an activity in which they create their own layers of sedimentary rock containing a fossil OR (alternative activity) Learners dig up the remains of a mock San campsite and try to recreate how they lived, what they hunted and what they ate (Thalassa Matthews).

Kid's fossil workshop

 

‘Hands on’ fossil workshop and lesson looking at geological time and selected fossils and fossil casts to represent key events in the history of life on earth. Optional activity:  Make your own fossil cast using clay and plaster of Paris.

Reptiles, Mammals (including whales) & Bird Galleries. A comparative study.

Compare the skeletons of these animals to humans. Adaptations to the environment. Characteristics and physiology of each group. Reproductive strategies. Habitat, survival, diversity, classification, ecosystems, food chains, food webs, food pyramids, social patterns and reproduction. Listen to the sounds of whales (animal communication). Galleries enhanced by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions (Dec – March) and the Seabird Festival (October).

Rocky Shore Outreach

A practical exercise to investigate the ecology of a typical rocky shore.  Participants will identify organisms using identification guides and keys, collect quantitative data on zonation patterns, interpret the data and analyse the biological and physical factors which structure these communities. Communication of results is optional. (Usually in Term 3 to celebrate Marine Month).

Rocks and Minerals

A practical workshop exploring the properties and uses of selected minerals.

Discovery Room & Insects.

The Discovery Room is a ‘touch room’ where children are encouraged to investigate a wide range of exhibits ranging from fossils, mounted birds, articulated skeletons, preserved snakes in bottles to San cultural implements and a large display of insects. Find the fly that caused the deaths of the cattle and people in the movie “Jock of the Bushveld’. Discuss why insects are important to us: major pollinators; food providers (e.g. honey production and as a food resource themselves – mopane worms, locusts, termites etc); pests of crops; medical importance such as vectors of disease transmission (e.g.malaria). Insects as a major component of all terrestrial ecosystems in terms of both their diversity and abundance. Specific lessons can be designed on request such as a practical look at how the teeth of animals are adapted to their diets.

Gaiasphere shows.

Programs can be offered on a variety of topics such as Earth’s Life Support Systems, Jet streams, Tectonic Plate movements and Tsunamis.

Senior Phase (7-9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocky Shore Outreach

(Dr W Florence & Dylan Clarke)

A practical exercise to investigate the ecology of a typical rocky shore.  Participants will identify organisms using identification guides and keys, collect quantitative data on zonation patterns, interpret the data and analyse the biological and physical factors that structure these communities. Communication of results must follow a written scientific report which includes background reading, basic descriptive statistics, the use of summary figures and their interpretation (Usually in Term 3 to celebrate Marine Month).

Archaeology, and the study of the past

This lesson introduces learners to what archaeologists and palaeontologists do, and how, and why they study the past. Concepts such as evolution, and adaptation, are explained using studies of modern ecosystems as an example of how living things are inextricably linked. The effects of disrupting this balance, and how it may affect man and life on planet earth, is briefly discussed. The fossils found at the West Coast Fossil Park are used to illustrate how fossils can tell us about past environments, and climate change. The tools and analytical processes used by archaeologists and palaeontologists are discussed, and the process of fossilisation explained.

Possible activities: Learners do an activity in which they create their own layers of sedimentary rock containing a fossil OR (alternative activity) Learners dig up the remains of a mock San campsite and try to recreate how they lived, what they hunted and what they ate (Thalassa Matthews).

Gaiasphere shows.

Programs can be offered on a variety of topics such as Earth’s Life Support Systems, Jet streams, Tectonic Plate movements and Tsunamis.

Kid’s fossil workshop

‘Hands on’ fossil workshop and lesson looking at geological time and selected fossils and fossil casts to represent key events in the history of life on earth. Optional activity:  Make your own fossil cast using clay and plaster of Paris.

Skills development

(Grade 7 – 12)

Archaeological dig

 

Dichotomous Keys

 

 

Sampling  methods & data collection

1) Mock fossil dig and fossil preparation workshop (Zaituna Erasmus).

2) Use a dichotomous key, glossary and shell anatomy diagrams to classify shells to species level (Lisa Combrink / Anton van Wyk).

3) An introduction to taxonomy and classification: Using a dichotomous, pictorial key, glossary and museum specimens to identify and classify a species of west coast Clinid fish (Dylan Clarke).

4) Exploring the value, diversity and identification of insects (Dawn Larsen)

5) Sampling methods and data collection for invertebrates and vertebrates.  Slide show and talk on how to go out into the field and conduct a scientifically accurate inventory assessment of invertebrate and vertebrate species richness in a particular ecosystem (Dr S van Noort).

Further Education and Training (Grade 10 – 12) & Tertiary Institutions.

Fossils, Evolution & Darwin.

Ideal for teacher enrichment workshops.

Fossil formation, examine the evidence for key events in the history of life on earth on the geological time scale, continental drift, biogeography, climate change, mass extinctions, paleo-ecology, Links to support the theory of evolution: Coelacanth (fish to amphibians), Therapsids (reptiles to mammals), Archaeopteryx (dinosaurs to birds). Hands on fossil workshop. Evidence from popular south african fossil sites (palaeontology, archaeology, palaeoanthropology) for human and modern animal evolution. Darwin and the origin of species (variation & natural selection over geological time leading to micro evolution, speciation and macro evolution). Darwin and his critics (science & society).

 

Slide shows offered in this field:

1)    Dr R Smith: Continental Drift and Evolution; Tracking African Dinosaurs; When the World nearly          

 died - the End Permian Mass extinction; Reading the Rocks of the Cape Peninsula; Dawn of the      Age of Dinosaurs in Antarctica; Evidence of Rapid Climate Change in the Fossil Record; Origin of the Sivathere Bonebed at the West Coast Fossil Park.

2)    Eugene Bergh. Palaeontology and biostratigraphy: an overview of more than 600 million years of invertebrate evolution; The use and value of fossils in understanding ancient Earth processes; The link between various fossil groups, earth processes and its applications to biostratigraphy; Plate tectonics, climate change through history and mass extinctions (most likely and unlikely causes and effects); Modern applications of fossils. Real fossils are presented in this lecture and slide show. Worksheets are also available to participants.

 

Archaeology, and the study of the past

This lesson introduces learners to what archaeologists and palaeontologists do, and how, and why they study the past. Concepts such as evolution, and adaptation, are explained using studies of modern ecosystems as an example of how living things are inextricably linked. The effects of disrupting this balance, and how it may affect man and life on planet earth, is briefly discussed.

The fossils found at the West Coast Fossil Park are used to illustrate how fossils can tell us about past environments, and climate change. The tools and analytical processes used by archaeologists and palaeontologists are discussed, and the process of fossilisation explained (Thalassa Matthews).

 

Hands on fossil workshop (Shallin Abraham).

 

A slide show is presented by Shallin Abraham entitled “Big Bang to Life to Fossils”. The workshop introduces actual fossils to learners and students ranging from very simple to very complex life forms. An opportunity is afforded to participants to see, touch and feel fossil organisms and animals that lived millions of years ago. This talk also allows learners to acquire new information directly from scientists who actively research key questions regarding palaeontology.

Worksheets regarding the fossil workshop are available to participants which may be completed during the evolution tour in an attempt to gain valuable knowledge whilst receiving the opportunity to interact with scientists and fossils.

Biodiversity, Classification & Phylogeny Workshop.

Museum collections are used to support the classification of life into various kingdoms and phyla based on cellular structure, symmetry, through-gut, presence of the coelom and phylogenetic effects.

 

Geologic history of

Cape Town: Rocks, mountains, ancient past and modern processes.

Slide show and talk by geologist and invertebrate palaeontologist, Eugene Bergh on the geologic evolutionary history of Cape Town. This presentation focuses on more than 500 million years of geologic history of Cape Town. It includes a discussion on the rocks of Cape Town, its mountains and how it formed. Special topics covered within the presentation may include formation processes of ancient environments, sea-level change, fossil occurrences, human-geologic relationships and its link to modern processes operating today.

Gaiasphere shows.

Programs can be offered on a variety of topics such as Earth’s Life Support Systems, Jet streams, Tectonic Plate movements and Tsunamis.

Practical course on Environmental Studies. Ideal for teacher enrichment workshops.

Slide show and talk by entomologist, Simon van Noort on field work. This biodiversity presentation is focused on inventorying which is the surveying, sorting, cataloguing, quantifying and mapping of species and the synthesis of the resulting information for the analysis of patterns and processes. It includes a discussion on a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate sampling techniques and the usefulness of indicator species.

 

 

 

Wonderful World of Wasps

Exciting and fascinating slide show which highlights the diversity, biology and ecology of wasps in Africa including the fig wasp mutualism; Searsia (=Rhus) gall wasps and the intertidal spider egg parasitoid wasp.Slide show and talk by Simon van Noort.

 

Rocky shore ecology

(Dr W Florence & Dylan Clarke).

A practical look at life inhabiting rocky shores, zonation patterns and the physical and biological factors that structure these communities.

 

 

South African indigenous knowledge systems by Dr Sven Ouzman (Social History Collections Department).

Slide show and tour entitled ‘The value and complexity of South African indigenous knowledge systems’.

 

 

Southern African rock art (Dr Sven Ouzman)

Slide show and tour entitled ‘A history in paint and stone: Southern African rock art’.

 

 

Southern African archaeology (Dr Sven Ouzman)

Slide show and tour on Southern African archaeology.

 

The education programme is aligned to the National Curriculum

 

OTHER PROGRAMMES

Educator Enrichment Sessions with our scientists and curators.

  • Educator Enrichment Sessions with our scientists and curators.
  • Educator Advisory Teams and Forums where educators advise and share learning and teaching ideas.
  • Natural History Holiday Workshops:
    Robotics and aviation holiday workshops (Grade 1 – 4), R450 for 3 day workshop.
    9h00 – 12h00 or 13h00 – 16h00, Iziko South African Museum. 2012 Dates: 3rd - 5th October, 10th – 12th December. 
    Contact dastaniland@mweb.co.za, 0835973991.
  • Mindstorm Robotics Holiday Workshop (Grade 5 – 9), R450 for 3 day workshop. 9h00 – 12h00. Contact Simoné on 0741526216.
  • Aircraft Model Building Course at Iziko South African Museum, 9h00 – 12h00, 8 – 14 year old learners, R250 for 2 day workshop.
    11th – 12th December 2012. Contact Fatima Jakoet: fatima@jakoet.com or 0837866966

          

  • Other services offered by ISAM:
  • Expertise in the art of taxidermy
  • Resource centre for teachers and learners (Mindspace room): educational DVD’s, posters, magazines, books and worksheets.
  • Educational games for children such as ‘Zoo Tycoon’ which is excellent for learning about the habitats, animals and for managing the business side of a Zoo at the same time.
  • Free commemorative Days, where we celebrate our history and heritage.

 

For all queries regarding all the above please contact: 

Lungi Mvimbi
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3823
Fax: +27 (0)21 481 3991
Email: lmvimbi@iziko.org.za
or
Nadjwa Damon
Tel: +27 (0)21 481 3817