Reflection: Student Ownership Rock Cycle - Section 4: Rock Cycle Cartoon - Day 2


I was surprised at the amount of effort the students clearly put into their cartoons. Yes, I gave them the "extra time" by having them complete them as homework, but I did not expect them to put as much care into their creations as I saw in their final products. As I looked through the work, I came away with the realization that creating cartoons is a great way to motivate the students.

Putting motivation aside, creating cartoons is a great way for students to find different pathways through the content and make connections that they might not have seen otherwise. The cartoons the students created make their knowledge visible, and as they create the images and captions they are unwittingly internalizing the content. Although they might not know it, the thinking becomes one of "How do I show that an igneous rock is being created? This, in turn forces students to think about the process of forming that specific type of rock. This is metacognition in action.

One of the things to notice in this particular series of cartoons is that many of the students decided to make them "interactive", by creating flaps that needed to be opened. I did not ask them who started the trend, or why. Perhaps they were responding to my admonition of, "Be creative." It will be interesting to see what happens when in an upcoming lesson I ask them to create interactive geologic time posters.

  Making students' thoughts visible through pictures
  Student Ownership: Making students' thoughts visible through pictures
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Rock Cycle

Unit 7: Geologic Time
Lesson 1 of 4

Objective: Students will be able to identify the three main rock types, and how they form.

Big Idea: Rocks and Minerals emerge from the ever changing Earth.

  Print Lesson
Science, Rock Cycle, Project Based Learning, PBL, gamification
  100 minutes
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