Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In search of the elusive Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus



Last month, Walter Minkel asked, "Are Young People "Experts" in Googling?" While the post was more about satisfactory results in internet searches than it was about determining the accuracy of the information found, I was reminded of my school librarian friend Seattle-Jane and her use of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) in library instruction. As she walks her students through the site that explains why the Tree Octopus is an endangered species, what one can do to help save it, and other pertinent points, inevitably one or two children say that they in fact have seen the tree octopus in their backyards. Seattle-Jane doesn't have a mean bone in her body, so she gently lets her students down and talks about how to have a healthy skepticism of the internet.

Take a look at the site. It's quite thorough. However, I am a bit dismayed that the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus has a new predator: the Japanese Maple Octopus (the picture is at the bottom of the page).

02/13/08 update: Here is an article about the use of the Tree Octopus website in classrooms: Tentacled Tree Hugger Disarms Seventh Graders, by Matthew Bettelheim.

9 comments:

Megan Germano said...

Hee, Hee, Hee... I am using it! Can't wait!
Megan Germano
Read, Read, Read!

Marian the Librarian said...

What timing! I used this site with my 6th grade library students yesterday!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Marian the Librarian: I can totally visualize you using this site with your class.

Megan: Have fun! Let me know how it goes.

blogapotamus said...

I have a friend who's husband has also discovered a new species- The California Barking Spider, who's presence can only be detected because it coincidentally exactly like violent flatulence.

blogapotamus said...

SOUNDS exactly like violent flatulence. I beg your pardon.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Blogapotamus: I am afraid of the Calilfornia Barking Spider.

SevenImpossible said...

I am trying to remember where this tree octopus shows up in a book I have read recently or am reading. I think it's in Wendy Orr's Nim at Sea. Shoot, that's a sign I'm reading too many books at once.

Jules, 7-Imp

Lone Star Ma said...

I am totally going to have to use this!

MotherReader said...

I'm going to try this with my daughter. April Fools Day is just around the corner.