Where Do Pollutants Go: Developing a Group Presentation Using Flow Maps

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SWBAT work in groups to create and present a cause and effect flow map.

Big Idea

Students develop their understanding of a concept by sharing ideas and hearing ideas from others.


10 minutes

This is part 2 of the “Where Do Pollutants Go” lesson. In the previous lesson, students learned how to make a cause and effect flow map using information about a pollutant that they read in an article. In part 2 of the lesson, they are going to work with a group of students who have also read and created a flow map on the same pollutant.

I start this lesson by reminding students about the work they did in the first part of this lesson. I explain to them that each group studied one pollutant and therefore, they don’t know much about the other 2 pollutants that other students’ researched. Today they are going to get a chance to present the information they collected to the rest of the class. I ask them which would be more effective, someone standing in front of the class, telling them about their pollutant or using a visual to make their points clearer. Of course, they say that a visual, like a poster or video is more helpful when trying to learn new information.

I tell them that today, they are going to work with other students that studied the same pollutant to create a poster to share with the class.

Group Work

20 minutes

Before students go off to work in groups and create 1 flow map representing the cause and effect of pollutants in the ecosystem, I ask the students to brainstorm how members of a group can support each other using the information and flow map they already produced in their journal. Students raise their hand and share things like, “let one speak at a time,” “if there is a disagreement, look in the article”, and “agree as a group before adding it to the poster”. I also suggest that they figure out who will be writing what on the poster and that each person has a chance to add something to the poster.


20 minutes

Before students share their poster with the class, I go over a few rules. This is meant to be an informal presentation and at this point of the unit, I have not taught specific strategies on presenting information. I ask them to stand straight, face the audience and share responsibility. I tell them that they can read from the notes they took in their own journal or off of the poster, but they need to spend a few minutes now figuring out what part each person is going to share. They do not all need to share the same amount but they each need a chance to say something.

While those students are sharing, the rest of the class is listening and asking clarifying questions at the end. At the end of the presentation, I praise the presenters for their effort and then they sit and listen to the next group.