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Using Folklore to Promote Ocean Literacy

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Originally appears in the Spring 2011 issue

Every human being has a profound effect on the oceans; conversely, the oceans affect every one of us in numerous ways. This is the basic concept of ocean literacy. Throughout history, people have used ancient legends as valuable learning tools to inspire new generations about the importance of the oceans. In this article, we’ll investigate four folk tales from around the world and couple them with science activities for ages 11-14. By connecting the oceans to folklore, teachers can integrate multiple disciplines with ocean literacy, and use multicultural experiences to foster environmental stewardship.

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Catherine Lindsay Linsky, Sara Raven, Melissa Jurkiewicz and Leonard Bloch are currently pursuing Ph.D’s in science education at the University of Georgia in Athens. Brett Farkas is currently earning his Masters in science education at the University of Georgia.

They would like to thank Dr. Norman Thomson and Dr. Deborah Tippins of University of Georgia’s Science Education Department for their continued support and encouragement.