Digital Ethnography; video by Michael Wesch

From 2007, this video remains a thought-provoking voyage through the upgrade to web 2.0, and how tech development is a catalyst for the possibilities of collaboration in the fullest definition of the word. This video is surprisingly accurate and applicable to how things have progressed in the five years past. I think it’s time for him to update; maybe re-do it using Prezi…

Lesson Plan: Flammable Foods

Food is fuel…but will it burn?

Gather supplies:
  • An adult to help
  • bunsen burner, or small Torch, or wand-style lighter (disposable plastic lighters may result in burnt fingers/sore thumbs)
  • Aluminum foil
  • A metal paper clip or large safety pin
  • A timer
  • Cheetos, Fritos, or Lays-use an average sized chip for your sample.
  • One or two types of Nuts (your choice.. substitute if you have nut allergies).
  • At least one other food that will burn (your choice-as long as it can be lit on fire)
  • (optional) A camera for before/after photos

Observe your sample foods

1. Look at your sample foods.
What are two visual clues you might observe to predict which food has more energy?
2. Touch your sample foods.
What do you observe?
3. Smell and Taste your sample foods.
What do you observe?


Which food sample do you think provides the most energy?

Experimental Procedures
  • Select an average-sized sample of each food you will test.
  • Unbend your paper clip or safety pin.
  • Wrap the aluminum foil around the base of the paper clip so it can stand by itself. It should look like the photo.
  • Spear your first food sample and place the stand on a level, fire-resistant surface.
  • Get your timer ready in one hand and torch in the other.
  • Start timing as soon as the sample catches fire and burns for at least three seconds. Some samples will catch fire quickly and others will be difficult to set on fire.
  • Record data in a chart including Type of Food, Burn Time (in seconds), and Comments.
  • Repeat 6-8 until you finish your food samples, or no dessert for you.

Lesson Plan: Brain Food

Desired Outcomes

Established Goals:

Explore the ways our sensory organs inform the brain to create flavor.

Test the taste/smell connection.

Consider human adaptations and food (fats/sugars for survival).

Essential Questions:

How is the brain involved in taste and smell?

How are taste and smell connected?

Learning Plan


Dinnertime Conversation Homework
Collaborative KWL Chart.
Outcomes-based CBM Probe 1

Eluminate Session:

Share discoveries from Dinner Conversation.
Examine our Collaborative KWL Chart.
Slideshow Presentation: Smell+Taste=Flavor


1. Homework: Tasty, Smelly Experiment
2. Add to the Collaborative KWL Chart in the “What I Learned” column.

Assessment Evidence

Authentic Performance Tasks

Discussion, Written Reflection
Add to KWL chart (Know, Want-to-know, Learned)
Scientific Observation, Experimentation
Observation of Performance Tasks

Other Evidence:

Homework (written responses)
Experiment (data chart)
Personal Reflection and Participation in Discussion
Add learned information to KWL chart

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Future Curricular Paths ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Design an experiment testing the taste/smell connection.
Research types of taste (umami, bitter, sweet…)
Find out more about how receptor cells work, where they are located, and what kinds of receptor cells exist.
Read more about the tongue, mouth, and nose. Sketch or build a model, or create an analogy.
Learn about cultural preferences for different flavors.
Investigate the connection between memory and smell.