In Amman, I would like to meet and talk to people and try to learn more about their culture and way of life. I hope that material can help me with my classroom flag idea – photos, videos, stories…
At the Dead Sea I want to do some mini experiments that I can video to use in the classroom. I also want to take samples and collect data about the area. Plus I would like to talk to people about the changes they have seen in the area over the last 20 years, and find out information about water use, and mineral harvesting.
While at Wadi Rum and in the Jordan Valley I would like to take photos and video that I can use in my activities when I return. I would also be interested to meet some of the Bedouins who are protecting their heritage and ecosystems.
While in Petra I want to look at the geology of the sedimentary formations that surround it.
I would also be interested to learn more about the coral in the Gulf of Aqaba. I have read that these reefs are not being damaged by coral bleaching events and I would be interested to find out more.
Additionally, I plan to collect information/photos and make video for our 6th grade history teacher that she can use as she teaches about ancient civilizations.
I am planning three connected activities. The first is related to the minerals, natural resource use of the Dead Sea, and how climate change is affecting the area. I will be making videos while there and using them to ask open ended questions that we can use as we are studying these units in class. Students will have to examine the conditions there and draw conclusions about why they exist. They will also look at time lapse photos (before /after) to see how the water levels have changed in recent years. - I would also like to tie water-use into this activity. The second activity is related to the geology of the Jordan rift and other areas (like Wadi Rum). My plan is to collect data/information to use it as a phenomena as they are introduced to the idea of plate movement. Students will read articles and look at photos of the area and do a compare and contrast with the rifting that is happening in Iceland. Finally, I would like to do a project that is more of a cultural connection. My plan is to have my students create a "flag" to represent our classes and then take it with me to create a dialog with people I meet while I am there. I would like for them to be able to sign it and be in photos with it, that I can post while I am in country. Then when I return it will have stories connected to it that I can share with my students.
Preparation During Travel
I am currently reading as many books as I can about Jordan, so far I have a guide to Petra, and Adam's "Jordan: An Archaeological Reader". I have read the USGS's report regarding the Jordan Rift basin, and several articles regarding the geology of Wadi Rum and the formations around Petra. (There is a good article from Earth Magazine March 2016) Last week there was a great Nova episode on PBS regarding the Dead Sea and I am trying to plan out the mini-experiments that I want to do while I am there. I also just read an interesting article about using citizen science to record and track the petroglyphs in the Wadi Rum area using RASI. I am trying to learn some basic phrases of Arabic using an app and I am working on making our classroom flags.