Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Water Woes (5 Day Project-Based Lesson) - Section 2: Day 1: Explore

 

In addition to the many benefits mentioned in the graffiti table description, I love the way that this strategy lends itself to increased levels of active engagement and discussion in the classroom. When you allow students to "write on the table", they feel like they're doing something slightly naughty. And with all middle schoolers, slightly naughty is really fun! At this age, students want to assert their independence and "fight the system" a little more than they did in elementary school, so when they are allowed to do something that has been traditionally frowned upon, they take advantage of that time, which can really work to a teacher's benefit. Anytime I can allow them to do participate in an activity that's either gross or a little rebellious, I jump on it!

When I do the graffiti strategy, I like to take large sheets of butcher paper and cover the whole table, leaving no spot uncovered. This allows the students the opportunity to write all over the table, instead of just writing on a large piece of paper that happens to be lying on the table. In addition, providing a huge blank canvas for them somehow gets their creative juices flowing a little more freely, and I tend to see students writing, drawing, and thinking a little more creatively than if I simply put a sheet of paper n front of them.

Finally, when you provide one large area for all students to share, they have an opportunity to see what others are writing, which sparks a lot of great discussions among them. I often hear things such as, "What do you mean by that?" and "Why did you draw that?" Students start discussing the content because it is written right in front of them. It's a great way to promote active, relevant, and timely discourse!

  Why graffiti tables?
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Why graffiti tables?
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Water Woes (5 Day Project-Based Lesson)

Unit 4: Enivronmental Science
Lesson 5 of 15

Objective: SWBAT explain the importance of water conservation, identify the many uses of water in our daily lives, determine the amount of water used in various activities and create an infographic to share the current status of water conservation and efforts to help.

Big Idea: Our water supply is limited, so it is extremely important to conserve this resource that is so crucial to sustaining life.

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