497 Meteorological Teaching Tools: Choctaw Weather Legends

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Sarah E. Sawyer, Freelance Author, Durant, OK; and G. J. Mulvey

Handout (612.3 kB)

Stories have been used for millennium as a teaching tool by cultures with oral traditions. This technique continues to be widely used to: · “Make the subject accessible to students” · “Gain the attention of novices” · “Build stronger schema and memory, making knowledge easier to recover” · “Assimilate new ideas and build a path to understanding” · “Reduce resistance or anxiety to learning”

Ref: New York University Faculty Teaching and Learning Resources web site https://www.nyu.edu/faculty/teaching-and-learning-resources/strategies-for-teaching-with-tech/storytelling-teching-and-learning/the-purpose-of-stories.html Accessed July 18, 2018)

The storytelling of the Choctaw legends of causes of weather phenomena can be used as an effective technique to educate and interest students in meteorology. This presentation will outline the development of a summer program that will use five Choctaw legends of weather to teach and interest students in grades 3 to 6 about the science of meteorology. The legends selected are historical stories used by the people of the Choctaw Nation to teach children about their culture. A comparison between the legends and the science of the phenomena are developed and blended into an age appropriate addendum to the story to explain the phenomena in science terms. The program using this approach is targeted at the summer of 2019 in Durant, Oklahoma. It will utilize a tribal member to tell the story and a meteorologist to describe the science.

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