January 9, 2001
Learning Links: Scat -- Facilitator Page
Concept: Use "Discovery Cookies" to show ways scientists can dissect various materials (including scat) to find what is in them. This may tell them such things as what an animal eats or how various parts of an organism work together.
Goals (Measurable): Learner will be able to identify four ingredients of cookies. They will be able to suggest three types of food that might be identified in an animal's scat.
Objectives (Not measurable): Learner will enjoy the process dissecting a cookie to determine some of the key ingredients. They will be able to understand that there are many things, other than cookies, that can be dissected in order to have some of their parts identified.
- Prepared "Discovery Cookies" (recipe is at the bottom of this page)
- Paper and glue sticks
- Balance (optional)
- Ask learners what types of things people use to make cookies. Ask them how they can identify some of those items.
- Give learners one (or more) Discovery Cookies. Have them "dissect" the cookies in order to identify as many ingredients as possible. Have them list ingredients they identified and put a sample of that ingredient next to each item on the list.
- Have students count how many items are in each category and put them in order. If you wish, you could have students weigh all the identifiable pieces of each ingredient to get a percentage of the cookie that each ingredient makes up. They can compare the lists to see if they are the same. Help students notice that some things (like coconut) might show up more often than chocolate chips, just because they are smaller. A better way to determine how much of something is used it to do it by weight.
- Discuss other things that can be dissected (scat, owl pellets, plants, animals). Discuss what people can learn by dissecting each of these things.
- Council for Environmental Education. (2000). Project WILD: K-12 Curriculum & Activity Guide. (See "Owl Pellets" activity, page 100). Houston, TX: Author.
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) - Science
- Students develop skills of asking questions, gathering information, and communicating findings.
- Students identify components of the natural world to which organisms may respond.
- Students recognize the interactions between organisms, such as predation
- Students use models, recognizing their strengths and weaknesses
- Students record observations
National Science Education Standards - Content Standards
Unifying Concepts and Processes
- Evidence, models, and explanation
Science as Inquiry
- Organisms and their environment
- Interdependence of organisms
- Regulation and behavior
- 3 C unsifted flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 C butter
- 1 1/2 C brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tbsp hot water
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 C raw oatmeal
ADDITIONS (choose which ones you want to add. Amounts are suggestions to create variety, but you can choose how much to use to suit your purposes):
- 1-2 C chocolate chips
- 1 C chopped walnuts and/or pecans
- 1/4-1/2 C yellow raisins
- 1 C raisins
- 1/2 C butterscotch chips
- 1/2 C coconut flakes
- 1/2 C white chocolate chips
- 1/2 C slivered almonds
- 2 Tbsp - 1/4 C sunflower seeds
- 1/4 C peanuts
- 1/2 C M&Ms
- 1/4 C pine nuts
Sift flour, soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, cream butter, and beat sugars into it. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each one. Blend in flour mixture. Add hot water, oatmeal, and vanilla. Add your choice of "additions".
Drop by dollops on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees.
Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.