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Moonlight Crab Count: Teaching Activities

Moonlight Crab Count. By Dr. Neeti Bathala, Jennifer Keats Curtis illus. by Veronica V. Jones. Arbordale Publishing, hardcover, $17.95 (9781628559309). Gr. K-3. Feb.  https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=MoonlightCrab

In conjunction with the book MOONLIGHT CRAB COUNT, educators can use this teaching activities guide’s ready-made lessons to extend learning about horseshoe crabs and the citizen science movement. The cross-curricular lessons touch on many subjects and include language arts, science, and math activities.

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Exploring external anatomical features of the American Horseshoe Crab through observation of molt specimens
  1. Kreamer, Gary. Exploring external anatomical features of the American Horseshoe Crab through observation of molt specimens. Delaware Aquatic Resources Education Center, Smyrna, DE USA.  10 pp.

This activity utilizes molted (shed) exoskeletons of the American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, to engage students in identifying key structures in the external anatomy of the animal, and associating those structures with functions important to its way of life. An accompanying photo-rich molt observation study guide and student worksheet are provided to direct and capture student observations. Interpretive guidesheets on Limulus dorsal and ventral anatomical features are also provided in support of the lesson.  Instructions for preparation of specimens are also included.

Using the ERDG Horseshoe Crab Research Data Base as a resource for teaching students how to read a scientific paper

2015.  Kreamer, Sharon W. and Yiying Sheng.  The Tatnall School, Wilmington, DE, USA. 8 pp.

This activity provides a way for high school or college-level science instructors to engage their students in exploring examples of the vast array of scientific research papers uploaded to ERDG’s Horseshoe Crab Research Data Base (www.horseshoecrab.org/research/).  Handouts guide students in learning how to read and “mine” a scientific paper, and in sharing what they have learned with their classmates. The products of these efforts can take the form of a jigsaw activity, where each student chooses a paper of interest from the HSC Research Data Base, reads through the paper following the guidelines provided, answers the guiding questions, and prepares a presentation based on the information gleaned from the article. Students share their knowledge seminar-style via PowerPoint or Prezi presentations or in poster format. An example of a student product from piloting use of this lesson is also included.

International Horseshoe Crab Jeopardy lesson plan

2015. Adapted from: Stubbolo, Garth. Everett Meredith M.S. (Middletown, DE) and Stacy Epperson, MD Dept. of Natural Resources, Aquatic Education Program. Green Eggs & Sand curriculum (2010). Adapted by: Gary Kreamer, Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, Smyrna, DE, USA. 6 pp.

This activity, provided in PowerPoint format, engages students in “Jeopardy” style game play, to assess their knowledge of various aspects of horseshoe crab (HSC) biology, ecology and uses. Two versions of the game are provided: International HSC Jeopardy, featuring a general knowledge/student level focus, and International HSC Double Jeopardy, providing more challenging content (aimed at more scientific HSC-savvy audiences). In addition to the game play materials, clear instructions are provided for teachers interested in creating their own versions of the game, including how to change categories, clues, answers and images for other audiences and topics.

Horseshoe Crabs Around the World Web Research Activity

2012. Kreamer, Sharon W. The Tatnall School, Wilmington, DE, USA. 15 pp.

This activity involves students in internet-based research to become experts on one of the four species of horseshoe crabs (HSCs) found in the world. A series of focus questions and web links are provided to direct the students’ information search. Students are challenged to present their findings to the class in a choice of formats: mini-brochure, short PowerPoint presentation, or round-table discussion.