Skip to Content

Bringing Mammoths Back from Extinction

Developing Scientific and Information Literacies


Author(s)

Andrea M.-K. Bierema
Center for Integrative Studies in General Science, Department of Integrative Biology
Michigan State University
abierema@msu.edu
Sara D. Miller
Libraries, Teaching and Learning
Michigan State University
smiller@msu.edu
Claudia E. Vergara
Center for Integrative Sciences in General Education
Michigan State University
vergara@msu.edu

Abstract

The focus of this case study is on the development of scientific and information literacies. Working on activities that address audience, purpose, language, authority, and use of evidence, students examine how the ways in which information sources are constructed can impact readers’ perceptions of scientific content. The case study was created for a flipped classroom in which students learn basic information literacy concepts before class and then work in teams during class or online to apply those concepts. Students analyze two articles related to “bringing back” mammoths by cloning ancient mammoth DNA: one article is an original research paper and the other is a news article discussing the research. The case is the first of a two-case study sequence (the second case study is “The Stakeholders of Gorongosa National Park: Intersecting Scientific and Information Literacies”), and can be taught either as a stand-alone activity or as the first in this two-case sequence. Both case studies focus on information literacy rather than scientific content and can be used in a wide variety of science courses.


Objectives

  • Describe different sources of information, considering the information needs of different users and the appropriate uses for different types of sources.
  • Describe the ways in which content (e.g., claims and supporting evidence) is used in different types of sources.
  • Explain that the ways in which information sources are constructed and the formats in which they are presented can impact readers’ perceptions of scientific content.
  • Explain the factors that guide their choice when matching information products (e.g., popular media, scientific sources) with information needs.
  • Explain the ways in which scientific information clarifies claims from popular media.

Keywords

Article analysis; de-extinction; information literacy; mammoth; popular media; primary literature; scientific article; scientific literacy; secondary literature;

Topical Areas

Science and the media

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF, Word

Type / Methods

Analysis (Issues), Flipped, Journal Article

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Biotechnology  |   Communication Science  |   Ecology  |   Environmental Science  |   Science (General)  |   Wildlife Management  |   Science Education  |  


Date Posted

12/20/2021

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

The file below is a Microsoft Word version of the case that uses a comparison table for learners to complete.

  
  info_lit_mammoth_sup.docx (~ 27KB)

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Comments