Students’ e-course: Sibylla Merian and the cocoons

Students’ e-course

Sibylla Merian and the cocoons

Introduction

Welcome to this e-lesson about Sibylla Merian and the cocoons.

In this e-lesson:

  • We hope that you will enjoy the story of the thirteen year-old Sibylla Merian and the cocoons.
  • You will learn about the social, cultural and economic environment Sibylla lived and worked.
  • You will learn about the metamorphosis of insects and describe it.
  • You will experience some of the difficulties Sibylla faced and you will try to do your own drawing of a life form.
  • You will search for women’s scientific contribution before the 20th century.

This e-lesson has six activities that require approximately 90 minutes to complete. In the beginning of each activity you will read what you are going to learn and the time required to complete it. However, if you feel interested in the topic presented here you will find initial resources to further your studies. All activities have enough space to write in if you print them.

 

1st Activity

When you finish this activity you will have learned the story of the Sibylla Merian and the cocoons.

time required:  15’

You will watch a video with a narration about the work of Sibylla Merian on the metamorphosis of insects. Before you start watching please review the following to focus your attention.

 

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2nd Activity:

This activity will help you to locate the characters within the story of Sibylla Merian and the cocoons and also to attribute them with a characteristic you find appropriate.

time required:  15’

Write down the names of the characters involved and find an adjective that you think is suitable for each character of the story.

Names of characters

Adjective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Which two pictures are Sibylla Merian’s?  You may use the internet for help.

 

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1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

3rd Activity:

This activity will help you summarise the story of Sibylla Merian and the cocoons.

time required:  15’

Try to write the answers to the following activities. You may go back to the video or the text of the story whenever you need it. Note with a sentence the beginning (1), the middle (2), and the end (3) of the story.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Which is the turning point in this story?

 

beginningmiddleendgif.gif    

 

4th Activity:

This activity will help you think how “science is influenced by historical, cultural, and social factors” and that “science requires and relies on empirical evidence”. This is an essential idea about the Nature of Science.

time required:  15’

Write how being a girl might have influenced Sibylla Merian at her work

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Write where in the story is evident that “science requires and relies on empirical evidence” 

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5th Activity:

This activity will help you observe and describe the life cycle of silkworms.

time required:  15’

Based on the narrated story you have heard, please write down the way of metamorphosis of silk worms (250 words). Do you know other insects or life forms that have a similar life cycle? Use the internet to locate at least two more. For an accurate description you could use the following resources: http://insects.about.com/od/growthmetamorphosi1/ss/typesmetamorph.htm

(Image available online at: http://www.zanzibartribalart.com/lifecycleofsilkworm.htm )

 
  SILK-WORM-LIFECYCLE.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6th Activity:

This activity will help you wear Sibylla’s shoes and realize some of the difficulties she faced.

time required:  15’

Go out of your living space and try to find and draw an insect or a flower, a leaf of a tree. What difficulties did you face?

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Write in the space below some of the difficulties you experienced

 

 

 

 

Further study

Please watch the videos for the production of silk and Write a text (abaout 500 words) describing the process of this production. 

http://www.silk.org.uk/history.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZCAgDBv-CU

 

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