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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Geography, Geology, a Myth, and a Search Challenge

Over the years I've written a bunch of posts about creating search challenges for students (find three here, here, and here). I like to use image-based search challenges as a way to introduce students to a variety of search strategies and tools. The latest search challenge that I've developed involves a bit of geography, geology, and folklore.

The challenge set-up.
1. I share the following two pictures.


2. I ask students to find the camel in the second picture.
3. The search challenge is to find out which mythological person rode that camel.
4. Students are asked to identify the connections between the camel and the shoe.
5. Students have to explain how the camel in the picture was actually formed.

The challenge explanation.
If you want to use this challenge with your students, feel free to do so. Click on the pictures to enlarge them and then download them in full size.

1. The camel is outlined in the picture below.

2. Students need to think about mythology beyond the usual Greek mythology that they tend to default to. The picture should give students a clue or two that this "camel" isn't in a typical environment for a myth or folklore involving a camel. They should rule out stories that center on a camel in a desert environment. Eliminating those stories will narrow the list of possibilities.

The camel is actually at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

3. Once students figure out where the camel is located, they should be able to discover that the camel is part of the story of Finn McCool (also written as Fionn MacCoul or Fionn mac Cumhaill).

4. The shoe is representative of Finn McCool's shoe that, according to the folklore, he lost while fleeing from the wrath of Scottish giant, Benandonner.

5. The camel is actually a basaltic dyke.