2 December 2009
Odd Occurrences in Nature
How we got started
When presented with the task of making a pecha kucha, my partner and I brainstormed topics that interested us and then looked to see if we found any that were related. Giovanni and I both agreed that nature was a fascinating topic and at first thought we would take pictures of different parts of nature around campus and describe them in a photo essay. After realizing the topic was too vague, we narrowed our focus to interesting facts about animals and plants found in nature. I was unsure of how interesting our topic would be until Giovanni sent his list of strange facts he found on the Internet. I was astounded at the many things I was unaware of, one of my favorites being a praying mantis can turn its head 360 degrees, the only animal to be able to do so. The research portion of the project was by far one of the most interesting I have done for a project. I found myself wanting to look for more. Giovanni and I mutually decided that the most logical way to present our topic would be in the form of a photo essay. We did most of our communication through Facebook messages and an occasional email. Giovanni and I worked independently to find the facts for our pecha kucha but messaged back and fourth daily to give each other feedback.
The content for the pecha kucha my partner and I designed included interesting facts about a variety of animals and a few plants that we thought would be new information for the audience. The animals and plants we researched ranged all the way from birds in caves to the plants in the ocean. The content includes attention-grabbing facts such as penguins are able to jump six feet in the air, praying mantis’ are the only animal that are able to turn their heads 360 degrees, flamingos are pink because their diet is composed of mainly shrimp, mosquitoes are attracted to the color blue more than any other color, a snail can sleep up to three years at a time, a sea squirt eats its own brain and snakes can see through their eyelids. The facts I found most interesting were the praying mantis’ can turn their heads 360 degrees, some species of birds can dive 15 feet underwater to capture a fish, a headless cockroach can survive for a couple of weeks, and sea cucumbers eviscerate themselves when in danger so the predator will eat their insides while the cucumber scurries. The information we provided on our pecha kucha was found online from various websites except for the information about the swiftlet birds that compose their nests of saliva, which we learned from Mrs. Sullivan.
Based on the content my partner and I chose for the project, we decided that something like a photo essay would be most appropriate to present the information. An actual photo essay would not work because we did not tell a story but instead, made a presentation about different plants and animals that all relate through nature. Also, we ruled out using a memoir format or a public service announcement seeing as our topic did not correspond with those two forms. The pecha kucha covers fifteen different organisms, some having more than one slide because of the amount of substance there is on those topics. The pecha kucha was made using Powerpoint and Windows Movie Maker. Both Giovanni and I were familiar with Powerpoint so I was able to make my slides through that processor and Giovanni, who is knowledgeable with Windows Movie Maker, was able to transfer my slides. Lastly, there was writing on each slide that Giovanni added using Paint on his computer to help give an overview of each slide.
Why we chose the slide material
My partner and I wanted to pick a topic that interested both of us. After deciding on elements of nature, we met with Mrs. Sullivan who sparked an idea to focus on interesting, unknown things about different organisms in nature. We were both intrigued by the subject, which made us want to...
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