Reflection: Student Ownership Human Body 2.0 - Brainstorm - Section 1: Note to Teachers


In previous runs of the Human Body 2.0 project I have found that although the students are eager to engage in the project, there are always some that attempt to "hide" behind others, and allow them to do the heavy lifting. The attitude seems to be, "Why would I do all this reading and writing, when I can forgo all that and just join in when the project gets to the "fun" part of designing a better human. I already know what I want to do." This leaves the teams at a disadvantage since they then have to wait for an unwilling student to catch up or in the worst case scenario, do most of the work for him/her, eliminating the opportunity for true collaboration.  

This is why last year I started adding dessert projects to some of my PBL units, as is the case in the Human Body 2.0 project. The student(s) deciding not to do the heavy lifting that accompanies the answering of the essential question are offered a chance to demonstrate what they know (even if in this case it is just factual information). The ABC project is not a punishment, nor is it boring, it is just an alternate way for students to engage their creativity and interact with the content. The students that develop a board game are still developing problem solving and critical thinking skills, just not necessarily collaborating with each other.

  Student Ownership: Why include a "dessert" project?
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Human Body 2.0 - Brainstorm

Unit 5: Human Body 2.0
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: Students will be able to analyze each other's suggested areas of redesign for the human body and decide which body system to focus on.

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