Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Connecting Organic Chemistry to the Food We Eat (Day 5 of 5) - Section 3: The Classroom Flow: The Gallery Walk and Peer Evaluation


This project represented a week long exploration of topics related to organic chemistry, specifically, food.  I was hesitant at first to devote this amount of time to one project that may not be direclty addressed in our state standardized testing format.  However, I felt that there were other benefits that made it an important experiment for me as a teacher to try.  Overall, I am very satisfied that the time we invested connecting our science textbook material and standards to student concerns over healthy living and daily food choices was a valuable experience for students.  Here are the benefits I saw from this experience.  As I look over this list, I can see direct connections to design thinking strategies and Common Core ELA standards.

  • Students practiced their collaborative skills through their many group activities:  concept mapping, project design, project construction, and reading prompt responses
  • Students work on their project and time management skills using our structured documents and brief discussions/check ins each day of the series.
  • Students gained experience with close reading strategies using text sources other than our textbook.
  • Students created and used concept maps in new ways that were helpful to them in organizing information from their reading and noticing and prioritizing specific themes they were interested in exploring through their project display.
  • Students created project displays through the lens of the audience/user experience to create highly engaging and creative displays.
  • Students gained practice in critically analyzing the work of their peers and offering objective, positive, and helpful feedback.
  • Students were able to see how the conceptual work we do together in class is related to their everyday lives outside of the classroom.  The engagement, focus, and attention that follows from that realization is a powerful tool for me to use to enhance the science literacy of every student in my classroom.

Moving forward, I think my next step will be to introduce more rigorous writing standards and activities into this lesson series.  Although students produced reflection papers and wrote out short responses to general reading prompts, I feel I could make a stronger content connection in my next iteration of this project.  I'd love to hear from about your ideas as to how to make this experience even more meaningful for our students!

  Potential Shifts for Next Year
  Adjustments to Practice: Potential Shifts for Next Year
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Connecting Organic Chemistry to the Food We Eat (Day 5 of 5)

Unit 4: Unit 4: Molecules of Life: Organic Chemistry
Lesson 15 of 15

Objective: Students will be able to research, discuss, and present information about current food topics and connect them to our organic chemistry unit.

Big Idea: Dig into food science topics with this project to connect student experiences to organic chemistry and the world!

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Science, food (Personal Health), Organic and Biochemistry, Life Science/Biology, calories, senses, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, GMOs, processed foods, molecule
  50 minutes
obesity and diet
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