Diving Deeper into the Human Body Systems (Day 2 of 4)
Lesson 6 of 9
Objective: SWBAT discuss each body system in depth through the creation of and interaction with student created presentations.
I have been using a version of this 4 day lesson series for the past few years and it has been a great way to end the year with students in charge of their learning at every level of the project, both as creators and as audience members. Our school has a wildly popular upper level Anatomy and Physiology course and in general, our general biology course doesn't include a significant amount of time in our curriculum framework to dig into the human body. This series of lessons is my way to honor our school and district norms for the introductory biology course focus while giving kids a taste of what they are going to be exploring in their next life science course.
On Day 1, we introduce the basic vocabulary of the human body systems and brainstorm student group project ideas. We also go through the basics of good oral and visual presentations using an informal rubric and past project examples for improvement analysis.
Day 2 gives student groups the opportunity to work together to plan and create their projects about one of the body systems
During Day 3, students explore each other's projects and summarize their learning about the basic concepts and terminology important to each body system.
And on Day 4, students participate in a whole group discussion of their overall learning and experiences with the project and complete a written formative assessment.
When we have had additional time in previous school year schedules, I have experimented with having each group present to the entire class but have since abandoned that model for my current gallery walk format. The individual presentations take a very long time at a timeframe during the school year where kids are pretty worn out. Additionally, without a significant amount of scaffolding and practice, student presentations can be pretty grueling for audience members simply because they aren't teachers or experts in their subject area yet. By adding in a whole class discussion and written formative assessment given after the initial project viewing session, I am able to bring in direct instruction in conjunction with the student driven projects. I can't wait to hear about your versions of this approach to introducing the human body systems!
1. Ask students to take out their project guidelines document, poster set up image, presentation guidelines document (the more detailed version of our original simple class public speaking rubric), and body systems overview document.
2. Tell students that today is an intensive studio time session during which each student group should be engaged in creating and researching their project. Set the expectations for a productive studio session:
- Students will be actively engaged in research or project creation throughout the session.
- Students will follow our basic support system formula: consult a text, ask a friend, check in with the teacher.
- Students will be respectful of their classmates' work time and space.
3. Point out where materials are located in the room: paper, scissors, glue, tape, colored markers, colored pencils, text books and other text resources. If you have laptops or iPads available, go over the check out procedure with them prior to dismissing groups to their lab tables. Alternatively, you may choose to allow students to use their personal devices for additional research.
1. Tell students to move to their lab tables with their groups so that they can begin to work with their team to produce their body system project.
2. As students work in teams, observe carefully. Be available for students who come up to you to ask for help finding specific resources or information. After about 15-20 minutes, circulate to check in with each individual group to evaluate where they are at with the process and their understanding of both their content and their role in the project.
3. As much as you can, allow students to do these things without interruption. YOu will find them to be highly engaged in their topic and their collaborative group decisions. GREAT things you will see students doing will include the following actions:
- Referring to their textbook and any other print resource you have in the classroom for information.
- Using their personal devices to look up information.
- Collaborating with their teammates to make sure their information is correct.
- Discussing their look of their project with their teammates: color choices, borders, font sizes, typed vs. printed text, etc.
- Clarifying content area concepts and brainstorming visual display ideas with you.
- Sketching, coloring, cutting, printing images and text for their project.
- Laying out their board to discuss, debate, and make changes to their visual concepts.
- Comparing schedules on their personal devices calendar apps to decide upon next steps both individually and as a team.
3. Ten minutes before the class session ends, announce the time and ask students to do two things:
- Discuss with their team the following question: What tasks need to be done now before the turn in date and which team members will be doing each of those tasks?
- Clean up lab tables and return materials
Check out this student work sample for an idea of the quality level and artistic expression you can expect from students, wow is it a beautiful thing to see how kids work together to interpret the assignment and make it their own. And now on to Day 3!