Beyond the Pages: Inspiring Learning at Tellus Science Museum
Sunday, July 9, 2023 by Demitra Bryant | Fun Reading Activities
Beyond the Pages:
Inspiring Learning at Tellus Science Museum
In a world often dominated by textbooks and traditional educational resources, it's crucial to remember that learning can occur in the most unexpected spaces. With their captivating exhibits and interactive displays, museums offer a wealth of knowledge and a unique avenue for expanding our understanding of the world. One such extraordinary museum is the Tellus Science Museum, where the wonders of science, history, and nature converge.
The Tellus Science Museum isn't just a place for passive observation; it is a treasure trove of opportunities for reading and learning beyond textbooks. Let's take a closer look at three remarkable exhibits that demonstrate the incredible power of reading in a museum setting.
This is my daughter, Anissa, and she has been enjoying the museum since she was a little girl. In fact, she told me while we were at the Tellus that she remembered being in a stroller looking at exhibits. Guess what? She was right. I lived in New York at the time and we would do a lot of sightseeing on the weekends. The exhibit she was referring to was at The Museum of Natural History in NYC. I'm so glad that this was fond memory for her. She was three years old at that time.
Our first gallery visit for the day was the Weinman Mineral Gallery. Both of us are huge mineral and gem fans so, we were eager to make this our first stop. Look at the enormous amethyst geode behind us! It weighs 4400 lbs, stands 7 feet by 5 feet, and was located in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and considered to be one of the largest in the world.
Step into the Mineral Gallery, and you'll find yourself immersed in a dazzling world of colors, shapes, and textures. Beyond admiring the sheer beauty of minerals, reading informational panels provides valuable insights into their formation, geological significance, and cultural importance. Engaging with interactive displays allows visitors to learn about the properties of minerals and test their knowledge through quizzes and activities. Visitors expand their understanding of these natural wonders by reading and absorbing the information presented.
Scavenger Hunt: Create a museum-themed scavenger hunt where you and your children have to read exhibit descriptions, signs, or information panels to find specific details or answers to questions. This activity encourages close reading and enhances observation skills.
Fact or Fiction: Select a few interesting facts or stories from the museum exhibits and create a "Fact or Fiction" game. Your child can read or listen to the statements and decide if they are true or false. Then you can engage in a conversation by discussing the correct answers and encourage your child to explore further to find supporting evidence.
Anissa and I spent almost two-hours in this gallery and learned more about gems. In another blog, I'll share with you the collection of gem pictures we took during our visit to The Museum of Natural History in 2021.
Onward to the next gallery.
The Crossroads Gallery:
Transport yourself back in time where vintage motorcycles, model trains, and historical communication devices await. Reading about the stories behind these artifacts deepens our appreciation for their significance. Informative displays provide context, historical facts, and cultural impact, allowing visitors to delve into the rich narratives that shaped transportation and communication history.
Artifact of the Day: Choose one artifact or exhibit and read further about the artifact. Sparking curiosity fosters a deeper connection. In fact, making connections is one of the reading comprehension strategies students need to learn and master in order to improve critical thinking.
Create a Museum Brochure: Have you child design their own museum brochure highlighting their favorite exhibits or attractions. They can include descriptions, images, and interesting facts about each exhibit. Then you can engage in conversation by discussing your child's choices and asking them to explain why they found those exhibits fascinating.
Tellus Fossil Gallery:
Enter a world millions of years old in the Tellus Fossil Gallery. Here, reading takes on a whole new dimension as visitors explore the remnants of prehistoric life. By engaging with informative displays and listening to knowledgeable guides, visitors discover the incredible stories locked within the fossilized remains. Learning about the creatures that once roamed the Earth fosters a deep appreciation for the evolution of life and the scientific discoveries that have shaped our understanding of the past.
Interactive Read-Aloud: Select a captivating book from either the museum, library, or Amazon related to the museum's theme or exhibits, and do a live read-aloud session video on your phone, tablet, or social media. Encourage family members, friends, colleagues to follow along or discuss their thoughts about the story and connect it to the museum experience.
Interview a Museum Guide: After the visit, ask your child to imagine they are a journalist interviewing a museum guide or expert. They can create a list of questions to ask about their favorite exhibit or a topic of interest. Then you can engage in a conversation by role-playing the interview by taking turns as the journalist and parent as the guide. This fosters communication skills and deeper understanding.
The Tellus Science Museum exemplifies the notion that reading and learning go beyond the confines of textbooks. Each exhibit becomes an immersive learning experience, where reading informational panels, engaging with interactive displays, and listening to guides foster a deeper understanding of the subject matter. By embracing the power of reading in a museum setting, visitors can expand their horizons, ignite their curiosity, and discover new paths of knowledge. So, let us venture beyond textbooks and unlock the captivating world of learning that awaits us at museums like Tellus Science Museum.