Nature Lesson: “U-G-L-Y? I’ve Got a Great Alibi”

This Sunday on June 26 at 8pm, WGBY will broadcast Nature:  The Beauty of Ugly, a fascinating program about how and why, from hagfish to naked mole rats, warthogs to proboscis monkeys to the ugliest bug in Oklahoma, ugly can be beautiful.  Here’s a quick preview:

As part of its educator resources, Nature offers the lesson U-G-L-Y? I’ve Got a Great Alibi  that examines why certain “ugly” animals look the way they do (e.g., their features help them survive in the great outdoors).  In this lesson students will explore their reactions to these less than lovely creatures. After observing how these animals’ unique features help them survive, students will re-visit their initial reactions to see if their perceptions of “ugly” animals have changed. Students will also design and conduct a survey to analyze whether humans’ attitudes about beauty impact animals.

Appropriate for grades 9 – 12, the lesson contains Standards in science, mathematics and language arts and enables students to:

  • Analyze people’s perceptions of ugly animals.
  • Examine how certain features help animals survive.
  • Design and conduct a survey to answer a question regarding people’s attitudes.

Among useful materials provided in the lesson, you’ll find:

“Do Humans’ Attitudes about Beauty Impact Animals?” survey organizer (PDF)

“True Beauty” organizer (PDF)

“Survey Results Presentation” rubric (PDF)

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