Children take tools and gadgets for
granted because they are familiar objects in our society. They rarely
think about what humans would do without them. Ask children if animals
use tools? Make several mental pictures for the students such as a dog
or cat that uses a can opener, or a horse that rides a bicycle. Children
might chuckle, but you want the students to think about what do animals
use to carry, break, or move things?
Early humans had to use twigs and
stones as their tools to cut and move. Round stones and sticks allowed
humans to move heavy objects. Certain rocks like obsidian could be
faceted into cutting tools. Other rocks could be carved to grind corn
and grain into meal. Humans had the ability to evolve tools that helped
them to create new construction that other animals could not.
- Animals use their natural shape to
help develop strategies to cope with the natural world. Use the book, An
Elephant Never Forgets its Snorkel to illustrate how animals
accomplish naturally what humans need to use tools or gadgets. You
probably do not want to read the text to the children, but the
illustrations help get the point across to the students. Use the
information to help you understand.
- Below are examples of how to
emphasize these gadgets using the illustrations in the book.
- A human uses a snorkel to breathe underwater,
but an elephant "snorkels" with its trunk.
- Humans wear a rain coat to stay dry but ducks have waterproof
feathers by using their body's oil.
- Humans built homes and high-rise buildings by using machines.
African ants construct a home by making "cement" from their
- Humans protect their eyes by using sunglasses, a polar bear's eye
"closes" down automatically when the sun gets too bright.
- Have a discussion on how they
think different tools were created. This session could be a wild side
into how young children think things were invented.