Exploring the Lab - Safely (Day 2)

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SWBAT explain the purpose behind lab safety rules.

Big Idea

Don't let your students snooze through lab safety. Have them "sell" it.


5 minutes

I begin class by asking students to remind me of the purpose of rules.  I also ask them to tell me any of the rules they remember from the previous day.  Many times this question has led to blank stares.  Even though we reviewed numerous rules the day before, the students sometimes have difficulty remembering them.  I lead the students toward remembering the rules by asking them additional questions such as "What should I put on before working in the lab?"  This tends to jog their memories, and when a student answers, I ask him or her why I should wear an apron and goggles. I remind the students that their goal for the day will be to work on illustrating one of the safety rules.  I explain the guidelines for the illustration of the safety rule and then I have the students begin working with their partner.


30 minutes

The time I provide students to complete their illustrations varies each year depending mostly upon the school schedule at the beginning of the year.  While the students are working on their posters, I move from group to group, asking about the rule and the meaning behind it.  This also gives me a great opportunity to become familiar with the students' work patterns and abilities and comfort levels in working with others.

Once the students are pretty well finished with their posters, we begin presentations (SL.8.5, SL.8.6, SP.8).  I tell the students that they must present their poster to the class using an infomercial style.  I tell them to pretend like it is two o'clock in the morning and they are trying to convince us to purchase a product.  I also tell them that I may ask them to do multiple "takes" of their commercial.  I remind them to tell us the rule and why it is important.  I also tell them that they may explain their illustration if they think it needs interpretation.

The students really get into their presentations and I do have some of them make multiple "takes."  This helps to make the most important rules stand out to the students.

Wrap up

10 minutes

Once the students have presented their posters, it is time for the lab safety quiz.  Presenting the posters has been a good way to help students review for the quiz.  The quiz generally takes between five and ten minutes.  When students are finished with the quiz, I ask them to turn their paper over and draw a picture of "science."  The drawings allow me to better get to know the students' personalities and provides me with insights into their feelings about science. Once everyone has had an opportunity to draw a little, I collect the papers.  Allowing the students to draw also draws some of the attention away from when students are finishing the quiz, as it takes some students longer than others to finish.  If we have time left in class, I review the information from the quiz, asking students to explain the answers to the questions.